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Morphine Injection (Preservative Free)

Risks With Neuraxial Administration; Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression; Risk Of Addiction, Abuse, And Misuse; Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome; And Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants; Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Stratagy (REMS)

Risks with Neuraxial Administration

  • Single-dose neuraxial administration may result in acute or delayed respiratory depression up to 24 hours. Because of the risk of severe adverse reactions when Morphine PF is administered by the epidural or intrathecal route of administration, patients must be observed in a fully equipped and staffed environment for at least 24 hours after the initial dose 

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of Morphine PF. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of Morphine PF or following a dose increase. Because of delay in maximum CNS effect with intravenously administered drug (30 min), rapid IV administration may result in overdosing 
  • Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders including central sleep apnea (CSA) and sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a dose-dependent fashion. In patients who present with CSA, consider decreasing the opioid dosage using best practices for opioid taper.

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

  • Morphine PF exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing Morphine PF, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions 

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

  • Prolonged use of Morphine PF during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts.  If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available 

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants
Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of Morphin PF and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a REMS for these productsUnder the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to:

  • complete a REMS-compliant education program,
  • counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,
  • emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and
  • consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.


  • Naloxone and resuscitative equipment should be immediately available for administration in case of life threatening or intolerable side effects and when ever preservative free morphine is being initiated
  • Intrathecal dose usually 1/10 of epidural dosage
  • Risk of diversion/abuse requires special control of distribution/wastage
  • Do not use parenteral product if discolored or has precipitate
  • Improper substitution of Infumorph (200 or 500) for regular Duramorph (0.5 mg or 1 mg/mL) may result in serious overdose
  • Product provided in sealed ampules or vials. Accidental dermal exposure should be treated by the removal of any contaminated clothing and rinsing of the affected area with water.
  • Naloxone injection and resuscitative equipment immediately available for administration in case life-threatening or intolerable side effects and whenever preservative therapy is being initiated.

Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS)

Opioid Analgesics

Patient Counseling Information


Package Inserts


Additional Information

Updated November 2019