What is the role of morphine in emergency department (ED) sedation?

Updated: Nov 06, 2018
  • Author: Arul M Lingappan, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Morphine is the oldest and most established agent for pain management in the ED. In its intravenous form, it has a rapid onset of action. Its duration of action, however, can be as long as 3-4 hours. The dose is 0.1-0.15 mg/kg (5-10 mg initially for adults), with additional doses as needed. The primary adverse effect is hypotension, explained partially by histamine release. Administering the medication slowly can minimize this effect. Respiratory suppression can also occur, and its risk increases with coadministration of sedative agents. [1]


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