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Morphine Withdrawal: Symptoms + How Long Does It Last?

Morphine is a drug that is used primarily to provide people with pain-relief. It is derived from the opium plant via chemical extraction. It was initially discovered in 1804 and was officially distributed in 1817. When utilized for intended purposes, it is regarded as one of the World Health Organization’s most “Essential Medicines.” Morphine is regarded as being among the most potent analgesics to treat severe pain.

Similar to other opioid drugs such as heroin and oxycodone, it acts directly on the central nervous system to provide pain relief. Although it is a drug that helps many individuals cope with severe physical pain, it is also associated with rapid psychological tolerance and dependence. It also has a high potential for addiction and abuse, which is why it is considered a “Schedule II” controlled substance in the United States.

In addition to taking morphine to help manage severe pain, some people take it on an illicit basis to “get high.” These individuals become addicted to the initial mood boosting properties as well as the anxiolytic effects that the drug typically provides. Regardless of reasons for taking this drug, once tolerance is established and a person becomes addicted and/or dependent on it for daily functioning, withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to cope with.

Factors that influence Morphine withdrawal

Many factors play a role in determining the severity and duration of morphine withdrawal symptoms. These factors include things like: time span over which the drug was taken, dosage, level of tolerance, whether a person is addicted, how quickly a person tapers their dosage, as well as other individual factors such as physiology, social support, etc.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking morphine? Those who are on it for a relatively short duration shouldn’t experience the most extreme withdrawal symptoms. In general, the less time you’ve taken this drug, the lower your tolerance should be.

Those who have used this drug consistently everyday for years will likely have a much more difficult time getting through withdrawal compared to someone who was only on it for a couple months. Time span nearly always influences withdrawal because the longer you’ve been on it, the more your body becomes reliant on the drug’s effects for functioning.

2. Dosage + Tolerance

What dosage of morphine were you taking? Morphine is able to be taken orally via extended-release capsules. Morphine sulfate or MS Contin is prescribed for individuals that require prolonged opioid therapy. In the form of “Avinza” capsules, the maximum daily dose is 1600 mg. In the form of Kadian capsules, a person may take between 100 mg and 200 mg up to 2 times per day.

Other common methods of dosing include subcutaneous and intravenous. Subcutaneous dosing is typically within the range of 2.5 mg to 20 mg every few hours. Intravenous dosing is usually given slowly over an approximate 5 minute window with dose up to 15 mg every 4 hours. If you are at the higher end of the dosing spectrum for whichever type of morphine you use, it is thought that withdrawal symptoms will be more severe.

In people that have built up a significant tolerance to morphine, withdrawal is usually more difficult and longer lasting. An increased tolerance means a person’s nervous system has become accustomed to receiving higher dosages of the drug in order to function. When the drug is discontinued, it can take a significant period of time for the nervous system to make repairs and recover to sober functioning.

3. Addiction

Are you addicted to the effects of morphine? Many people who take this drug become initially addicted to the mood-enhancing effect it has on them. In addition to providing pain relief, the drug can be very relaxing and a way for many to find relief from stress. People taking this drug to “get high” and cope with daily life stressors are going to have a much more difficult time dealing with withdrawal than those using it for its intended purpose: to treat pain.

Regardless of why a person is addicted to morphine, being addicted can make withdrawal significantly more difficult. If a person is addicted, they may be afraid to face the inevitable drop in mood that they will experience when coming off of the drug. Additionally those who had taken it for pain may not want to face the reemergence of pain that they could experience during withdrawal. Those who are addicted may need to work with a psychotherapist and/or a psychiatrist to successfully withdraw from morphine.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

How did you withdraw from morphine? Did you quit “cold turkey” or did you conduct a gradual taper? It is typically recommended to conduct a gradual taper off of any powerful opioid drug like morphine. By conducting a gradual taper, you are giving your nervous system some time to adjust itself to receiving less of the drug. If you quit cold turkey, it is thought that both acute and protracted withdrawal symptoms will be more severe.

For those with limited supply of their morphine, you may want to contact your doctor about tapering. Cold turkey withdrawal is possible, but some of the symptoms that you could experience (depending on your tolerance) may be dangerous and/or extremely debilitating. If you must quit cold turkey, brace yourself for a week of feeling sick. People have toughed out cold-turkey withdrawals, but they are considered the most difficult.

Another option you have if unable to taper is that of opioid replacement therapy. This involves transitioning to taking a less-powerful drug such as suboxone or methadone instead of your morphine. After you have successfully transitioned to a less potent opioid, the goal is to gradually reduce your dosage under doctor supervision. For many people, this is the easiest way to withdraw from their morphine.

5. Individual Factors

It is important to take into account other individual factors that play a role in withdrawal. Although many people can have similar withdrawal symptoms, some people have significantly more difficult withdrawals than others. Many things such as time span and dosage play important roles, but things like environment, habits, whether a person is on other drugs, individual physiology, and social support can also have an influence on recovery.

  • Environment: Your environment can have a major influence on your withdrawal. Those who live in supportive environments may have an easier time dealing with the anxiety and depression during withdrawal. Individuals in high-stress environments may feel overwhelmed trying to cope with withdrawal and may feel as though they have no support.
  • Habits: What are your daily habits? People who eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and light exercise are thought to recover at a quicker rate than those who don’t. Healthy habits are thought to allow the nervous system to heal more quickly.
  • Other drugs: Are you taking any other medications or drugs? Those who take other drugs, whether illicit or prescribed may be influencing the withdrawal. Certain drugs can take the edge off of extreme symptoms and help people manage what they’re going through.
  • Physiology: In many cases individual physiology plays a role in determining how quickly someone recovers. Those who are highly sensitive to medications and drug withdrawals may have a more difficult time coping with symptoms. Everyone’s nervous system responds differently.
  • Social support: Having some sort of social support can go a long way during a withdrawal. Those who have an understanding family and/or close friends to talk with may have an easier time dealing with their experience. A psychotherapist may provide additional positive support to help someone during withdrawal.

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of possible symptoms that a person may experience when they withdraw from morphine. Keep in mind that you may not exhibit every last symptom on the list and that symptoms may vary in both intensity and duration based on the individual. This is a general list of what you may deal with so that you know A) You are in fact dealing with withdrawal, and B) It’s not all in your head.

  • Abdominal cramps: One of the most common symptoms that people experience upon discontinuation is that of abdominal cramping. You may notice cramps in other areas besides your abdominal region, but this tends to be most pronounced.
  • Anger: During withdrawal, it is very common to experience changes in mood. Many people end up having to deal with an array of psychological symptoms, including anger. The anger may be difficult to control, so if you find yourself feeling grumpy, chalk it up to withdrawal.
  • Anxiety: Another very common psychological symptom is that of anxiety. The anxiety may range from being relatively mild to very extreme. Opioids like morphine tend to reduce anxiety, and when discontinued, anxiety can really flare up. Many people find medications like clonidine helpful to cope with it.
  • Appetite changes: You may notice that you have completely lost your appetite upon quitting morphine. Usually within a day or two of your last dose, appetite loss is thought to be at its peak. It may take awhile for your appetite to fully recover, so do your best to continue eating healthy foods.
  • Concentration problems: When dealing with an array of psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms, most people aren’t going to be able to concentrate. You may notice “brain fog” or an inability to think clearly in addition to a general confusion.
  • Confusion: Most people feel confused about how they are feeling and aren’t able to think clearly. Moods are in fluctuation and concentration is poor, which results in confusion. Realize that your normal cognition will eventually return.
  • Cravings: This is a drug with a very short half-life, which can make cravings very intense during withdrawal. Initially a person will crave the drug immediately when they quit. The longer a person remains sober, the more cravings are reduced.
  • Crying spells: It’s common to cry as a result of hopelessness and depression that a person may face when they withdraw. However, it’s also common to cry as a result of “watery eyes” which is very common when coming off of an opiate.
  • Depersonalization: Do you feel unlike your normal self? During withdrawal, some have described their feeling as a “trance-like” state. Some people have mood swings, depression, and feel as if they will never feel “normal” again. This is a combination of nervous system changes, anxiety, and brain function. With enough time, you will experience a full recovery.
  • Depression: The depression that most people experience when they quit morphine is mild to moderate. In some cases, the depression may become severe, but most people notice mood improvements within 10 days of withdrawal. Although it may take significantly longer than 10 days to recover from the depression, you will eventually bounce back to normal mood.
  • Diarrhea: The use of morphine tends to result in constipation. When you stop taking it, the exact opposite occurs and people experience diarrhea. If you are having trouble coping with this symptom, consider purchasing some over-the-counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: When withdrawing from morphine, it’s very common to feel dizzy. You may feel dizziness throughout the day and/or vertigo. The dizziness is generally more intense for those who quit their medication “cold turkey.”
  • Fatigue: The degree of fatigue and lethargy may be severe. You may find yourself unable to get out of bed in the morning. You may also notice that performing one simple task such as: cooking breakfast, taking the dog for a walk, or doing the dishes – seems impossible. Your energy levels will continue to return the longer you are off of the drug.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Many people have reported their withdrawal experience as being “flu-like.” They experience things such as: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, chills, and aches. The bulk of these flu-like symptoms tend to improve after the first week of withdrawal.
  • Goosebumps: Another thing some people notice when they stop opiates is that they have goose bumps. These are uncontrollable sensations that occur across the skin as a result of nervous system readjustment.
  • Headaches: Morphine can reduce and/or eliminate headaches while a person takes it. However, when they stop taking the medication, a person may notice that they experience headaches. These may range from being mild to full blown migraines. Like other symptoms, these will improve with time.
  • High blood pressure: This drug has a depressant effect on the nervous system, meaning activity slows such as heart rate and blood pressure. When a person quits, they may experience a spike in blood pressure. If you think this may be a problem, talk to your doctor and monitor changes closely.
  • Hormone imbalance: Not all cases of hormonal imbalance are due to opiate usage, but if you were on morphine for a lengthy period of time, it’s likely a contributing factor. During withdrawal your hormones may be imbalanced. Keep in mind that hormonal functioning will eventually normalize if you remain sober.
  • Hot flashes: You may notice that you experience “hot flashes” or “cold flashes” as you come off of this drug. These may be uncomfortable and unexpected, but are one of many reactions people have during discontinuation.
  • Insomnia: Some individuals may have no problem falling asleep at night, while others may be plagued with extreme insomnia. In many cases, this insomnia can be fueled by restlessness and anxiety. In order to best cope with this symptom, consider a melatonin supplement and/or relaxation exercises before bed to lower your arousal.
  • Irritability: Do not be surprised if you become irritable during withdrawal. Many of the symptoms can result in increased stress, which can make even the most calm people have a short fuse. If you feel irritable and as though everyone is getting on your nerves, take a step back and realize that it’s partly due to withdrawal – this will go away.
  • Itchiness: Withdrawal from morphine can result in itchiness and/or itch sensations across the skin. Some individuals end up thinking that this is a rash, when it’s really itching that’s caused by withdrawal. Conducting a slow taper may reduce this symptom, but not in all cases. The itching may be very uncomfortable, but will subside.
  • Mood swings: Don’t be surprised if you notice that your moods are negative and that they constantly change. For example, one minute you may have bad anxiety, the next you may feel hopeless and depressed. Another minute you may have a glimmer of hope that your situation is going to improve. These are difficult to deal with, but eventually your mood will normalize.
  • Muscle aches: While coming off of morphine, you may notice that your muscles ache. Some people report joint pain as well. Part of this pain has to do with your body’s natural endorphin levels being abnormally low as a result of morphine use. As your body readjusts and endorphin levels are reestablished, aches and pains should diminish.
  • Nausea: The nausea some people experience during the first week of withdrawal is extreme. In fact, in many cases extreme nausea is so intense that it leads to vomiting. Some nausea may be an unavoidable part of withdrawal, but it will get better.
  • Panic attacks: If your anxiety become severe, you could have a panic attack. A panic attack is a sensation of severe anxiety that is usually triggered by an event or stimulus. If you begin having panic attacks, do your best to learn some relaxation techniques to lower your level of arousal.
  • Pupil dilation: Since taking this opioid will result in pupil constriction, the exact opposite occurs during withdrawal. If you notice that your pupils appear especially large, just know its caused by withdrawal.
  • Rapid heartbeat: Many individuals notice an increased heart rate when they come off of morphine. The increased heart rate is a result of the body speeding itself back up after being on a depressant for a long period of time. Some people may also note palpitations, or sensations of a pounding or racing heart.
  • Restlessness: Some people feel restless and unable to sit still as they discontinue morphine. This is usually a result of nervous system sensitivity and anxiety. Relaxation techniques may help you keep calm and cope with this symptom.
  • Runny nose: A natural consequence of withdrawal from opiates is that of a runny nose. You may need to keep some extra tissues around to help deal with this symptom. This symptom should gradually improve, but may feel like a bad “cold.”
  • Sleep changes: When you first come off of morphine, your sleep cycle may significantly change. You may find yourself feeling very tired at certain points throughout the day and/or anxious and unable to fall asleep at night. Your sleep patterns may be abnormal for awhile until you further recover.
  • Spasms: Many people report muscle spasms upon discontinuation. These spasms can last for a few days or a few weeks. As more time passes, these usually reduce in frequency and length.
  • Suicidal thinking: In some cases, the depression resulting from withdrawal can be severe. This could lead a person to feel suicidal during their withdrawal period. Although this feeling will eventually pass, it can be difficult to cope with. If you are feeling suicidal and think you may be of danger to yourself, seek immediate professional help.
  • Sweating: Many people report heavy perspiration upon initially quitting morphine. Sweating is thought to be the body’s natural way of responding to drug discontinuation. You may sweat profusely throughout the day and/or notice uncomfortable night sweats.
  • Vomiting: During the acute phases of withdrawal, you may end up getting sick to the point that you vomit. This is usually accompanied by an overwhelming nausea. The vomiting shouldn’t last longer than a few days.
  • Yawning: You may get annoyed with the constant yawning that accompanies morphine withdrawal. Coming off of any opioid can result in yawning that’s completely out of your control. Do your best to put up with it, realizing that the yawns will eventually subside.

Morphine Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

There’s no universal opiate withdrawal timeline that can be followed for morphine because everyone recovers at a different rate. Some people may experience a normal withdrawal period without any protracted symptoms, while another person may have a severe acute withdrawal and lengthy protracted symptoms. You really won’t know what your experience will be like until you’ve been through withdrawal.

Certain individuals naturally recover at a quicker rate than others. Additionally if someone is receiving psychiatric drugs to help with withdrawal such as: antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and/or clonidine, it may be easier to cope with symptoms. Half life of morphine is 2 to 4 hours, which indicates that the drug is fully cleared from your body in approximately 8 hours. However, just because the drug is fully cleared from the body, doesn’t mean you have experienced withdrawal.

Acute withdrawal symptoms typically begin between 6 to 14 hours after discontinuation. The majority of acute symptoms peak within 3 days of withdrawal, but can last up to a full week. Acute psychological symptoms tend to peak within 6 to 10 days of withdrawal. Following the acute stage of withdrawal can come the “protracted” phase or “PAWS” (post-acute withdrawal syndrome), which can last anywhere from weeks to months.

The protracted phase is characterized by less intense physical symptoms and more psychological symptoms. While going through withdrawal, it is recommended to engage in healthy activities to ensure a steadfast recovery. Getting adequate sleep, some mild exercise (e.g. walking), being as productive as possible, eating healthy, and staying hydrated can go a long way towards helping your nervous system transition back to homeostatic functioning.

Although you may feel as if you are never going to get better, realize that this is merely withdrawal and you will eventually experience a full recovery. If you’ve had to deal with morphine withdrawal, sharing your experience in the comments section below may really help someone else.

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{ 228 comments… add one }
  • Mikka April 25, 2016, 1:55 pm

    I have just started reading this article and comments having just seen my GP regarding reducing my dose of Zomorph. I am actually prescribed 400mg daily but in fact take up to 1,000mg daily (yes really). After 24 operations, I eventually underwent an above-knee amputation of my right leg. I have been taking morphine for six and a half years for the most terrible acute and chronic phantom limb pain.

    I optimize my Zomorph by taking 800mg – 1,000mg three days a week (Fri, Sat, Sun). After 3 days, my tolerance is so high that I force myself down to 100mg for the next 4 days. It’s the only way I can get some pain relief (for 3 days). I then grit, grin and bear it somehow holding out for the weekend when I can return to a big dose and get 3 days blissful pain relief.

    It’s a cycle that has gone on for years. Depression and pain for 4 days and then tearful relief when I can up the dose again. I’ve realized I can’t go on and I have a window of opportunity to come off morphine as I had a Lidocaine Infusion last week which is holding off the pain but for how long I don’t know. My plan/hope is that the infusion will keep me relatively pain free and provide an opportunity to get off the drugs.

    As I said, I’ve just got back from my GP who is offering no help in any form other than a prolonged, steady reduction in dose each week for however long it takes to be free of addiction. Surely doctor I said – surely you will give me “something” to help my nerves, anxiety, etc.? But no, nay, nada, zilch!!

    Surely this can’t be right? I feel I need “something’ to help me climb down from 1,000mg doses of morphine??? So now I’m quietly sitting and staring blankly into space. I’m not sure what the coming days will bring – but I’m terrified. Someone once said “Thank God for Morphine”. I just don’t know anymore!

  • san April 23, 2016, 12:38 am

    I found this information extremely useful and reassuring. Anyone experiencing this: Be patient. It will pass. God bless.

  • Pam Cline April 6, 2016, 1:31 am

    I have been on Morphine for close to a year. I was taking an extended release 1 in the am and 1 at night. I also took the regular Morphine 4 times a day. I have stopped the regular pills and I’m only on 3 extended release pills. I have never taken more then I’m suppose to. I ended up in the ER because I got the shakes really bad and had a bad headache for 9 days.

    My heart felt like it was skipping a beat and I felt like I could just choke someone. My mood is terrible. I don’t sleep as long as I use to which is good but then I feel very tired in the afternoon. At the ER they checked my heart, everything was normal. I was very dehydrated. They gave me Ativan but I couldn’t take it. It made me feel spacey and jumpy. It made my headache worse.

    Then my Dr. Switched me to Methadone. That made me feel spacier then the Ativan so I stopped taking that after only taking 3 pills. I have had the cramps in my stomach, anxiety, depression since they put me on just the 3 extended relief Morphine which was a month ago. Why would I still be having these symptoms. Truthfully I don’t even know I’m taking anything when I’m on the Morphine.

    I don’t feel spacey, high, or anxious at all. That’s why I’m surprised that I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I want to go off of it so bad but I don’t know what to do. The Dr. said the Methadone would help me but I could not take it. I can drive when I’m taking Morphine but no way I could drive while taking Methadone. It feels good to be able to tell someone how I’m feeling. If you have any suggestions for me, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Yvonne Limerick April 6, 2016, 1:07 am

    I have sarcoid and morphine did not give me pain relief and I didn’t get high from it either. Got tired of feeling like a zombie and asked my doctors about getting off and none of three offered any support. I used common sense. I was on morphine for five months, the second attempt for weening was successful.

    More disclosure should be coming from the doctors. I was disappointed in the lack of support and guidance. I hope it’s better when they ween me from prednisone. Your site has been very informative as I was on 80mg for two weeks, 5 (plus 3 more) weeks at 40mg, then down to 30mg for unknown time frame. I’m rather nervous thinking about the side effects.

  • Steve March 25, 2016, 7:34 pm

    I have been IV dosing morphine for over a year and finally realized I had to quit. I haven’t dosed in two days and it is absolutely awful.

  • Carrie March 19, 2016, 6:54 pm

    I am going through withdrawal now for kadian. I have been on narcotics for my back through 3 major car accidents since the age of 12. I have gone through this terrible process way too many times. I too dispise the doctors for pushing these drugs. They have no clue about withdrawal process or how brutal it is. Just hang in there. I have always had to go off cold turkey as I just hate these narcotics and just feel worse on them.

    Plus the doctors never help me get off them. If you can go off slow and ask for clondine it helps with the leg cramps and the sweats. I hope you all know there’s others like you going through the same thing. It really sucks! It’s my legs. The pain is the worst. I just know it’s only a few more days. Best of luck!

    • Jacque June 9, 2016, 3:58 am

      I was on Kadian for 16 years because of side effects, I chose to stop a few months ago and cannot control the diarrhea! I have generic Lomotil but still can’t drink decaf in the morning without the problem! There is no justice in a work injury leaving me unable to do most activities and with chronic pain! I would love any advice!

  • abs March 13, 2016, 4:46 pm

    I was a heroin addict for about 12 years. I have taken solely morphine for about 6 months and have dropped from 340mg to 30mg a day with few to no symptoms (maybe a little lethargy from time to time). I am now pregnant which was a big shock but so wanted, and am more determined than ever to get clean but can’t go into full withdrawal in case it harms my unborn child.

    In the 3 weeks I have known I am pregnant I have dropped from 60mg to 30mg (as stated above) I have to go more slowly the lower I go as if I drop too much I will start to get symptoms and need my rest, and to keep my baby safe. My body seems to have completely adjusted to the gradual drop of medication and am comfortable. What I’m trying to get at is definitely try tapering, just take it slow.

    If I can do it everyone can, I have been emotionally addicted as well as physically to opiates for a fair time but feel so empowered getting it down so much and am so positive towards making a better future first for my baby but also for me. If I thought I could get pregnant I would have ensured I was clean first but I thought it was impossible. I am so determined and know that if you drop it by a small amount maybe 5-10 mg every few days to a week, more if you are still feeling fine, then it is completely possible, though takes a while but so worth it.

    I wish you all so much luck. Stay strong and positive.

  • sheilagh March 12, 2016, 4:06 am

    Reading this has been very informative. I have been taking morphine at a very small dose for several months. The last two times I’ve had blood tests I’ve been asked if I have kidney problems. This is why I did some Googling.

    I am starting chemo again in three weeks and realize the the morphine is likely the reason for my extreme constipation, dry mouth, and urinating very little. I have medical marijuana and was very pleased to read it helped relieve symptoms. More than the physical symptoms are the emotional ones, I get sudden severe anxiety which disappears when I take a morphine pill.

    As it appears it is affecting my kidneys I will try cold turkey and replace with marijuana. I also have clonazepam. Hopefully the combination will help. I’m a little confused about why a couple of posters said taking marijuana was a mistake. But thanks to all, I think I know the source of my kidney problems and hope to see a turn around before my chemo starts. Best of luck to all.

  • Frank March 7, 2016, 5:08 pm

    I have been on 200mg morphine sulphate ER/2X a day and 15mg MS IR/4X a day for over six years now due to several spinal surgeries and as of the 1st of March my crappy Medicaid insurance sends me a letter that my meds are no longer in their formulary and won’t cover it. It has been a few days now that I am on a fentanyl patch that does not touch the pain and have been experiencing sweats and chills along with body aches so far.

    After reading many of the comments here I am scared to death of what I can expect in the very near future. I can not understand how an insurance company can just stop covering a medication that will have such a detrimental effect on someones health like this. I have noticed that the dosage I was prescribed is quite high compared to some that I have read others were taking and can only assume I am in for a seriously bad withdrawal.

    Any advice or recommendations anyone can give me to help me get thru this would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jan Robertson March 5, 2016, 10:22 am

    I have been taking morphine for pain due to bowel cancer for about three months. Nobody warned that you could become dependent upon the drug. I have slowly eliminated all the other drugs I was on and am now tapering to come of morphine too. It’s a comfort to realize that what you feel is felt by many other people and that it can be got through.

    I have gone from 40 trams 2x a day to 30, now I’m on 20 grams, each time reducing again after five days. I get all the withdrawal symptoms but keep repeating, this is chemical only chemical, it’s not me. It helps. I expect to get down to 10 germs, then five, then off! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the support.

  • Notsaying March 4, 2016, 4:23 pm

    Hey y’all… I have been addicted to Avinza (morphine sulfate) 120mg 4 times a day for 9 years. I tried everything to come off but the withdrawals were to bad. I felt like I really was going to die. So I did a little digging and found the wonder (drug) neurontin 400mg. I take 9 400mg twice a day once in the morning and once at night.

    So far I have made it through to day 4 and it’s very bad but nothing compared to quitting cold turkey without it. I just hope I make it threw till day 14. I really hope all of you could use this info, because I know how it is. And thank y’all for posting how y’all dealt and are dealing with y’all withdrawals. Feel free to ask me anything. I will love to help someone get off this horrible drug morphine.

  • Kalawaya February 21, 2016, 6:09 pm

    I have a rare neurological disorder called Dystonia mine is generalized meaning everywhere. I’ve been on oxycod/ani 10 for over a year and slow release morphine. I recently went cold turkey I took as prescribed one in a blue moon I would take an extra for worse pain. It has been a challenge the withdrawal is horrible but coupled with my neurological disorder it’s down right unbearable.

    I will get through it I keep in my mind that this is a poison and I would never blatantly poison myself so why do I want to keep taking them. This has worked very well plus having my family support me during this has only encouraged me to keep off this poison. I’ve also started taking CBD oil without the THC which I think has helped.

    If you live in a state that allows THC I would recommend it. You have to ingest it not smoke it. Start with low dose see how you do increase if needed. Stay strong it’s not your fault you’ve become addicted keep a positive attitude it will get better

  • Pamela February 6, 2016, 4:17 am

    I have been researching the best way to help my husband get off of Morphine. My husband has been on 100 mg extended release for years he takes 2 a day. He also suffers from PTSD and is on a lot of medication for that. Ed talks about going cold turkey but I really think that he should be tapered off of the medications, very slowly, like snail slowly. My husband was in the 82nd Airborne for 10 years, he jumped out of perfectly good planes and they didn’t land softly.

    Ed has had a body scan and has been told that he has arthritis all through his body. If he is taken off of the Morphine what medication out there can possibly help this man with the pain that he suffers with every day? How long does withdrawal take? Do the drugs that people use to get over Morphine really work or are you just trading one addictive drug for another. Advixe is appreciated.

  • Margaret January 27, 2016, 5:46 pm

    I have been on morphine IR 20mg for the past 6 months. I would run out early because myself and my partner would take them (for pain) more than we should have.. We are on day 3 of giving up cold turkey and boy, I did not expect this. I have aches head to toe, chills, hot/cold sweats, insomnia, no appetite, etc.

    I can hardly walk or even function. We are coping, and today is thankfully better than yesterday. It’s going to be a long road ahead but I’m ready to get back to normal. Good luck to you all, I hope you find the help you need to get through this horrible withdrawal.

  • Ashley January 27, 2016, 4:27 am

    I’ve been going up and down morphine for over a year now due to needing back to back hip surgeries. I’m finally taking the steps to get off this crap. To say I feel like carp is an understatement. Due to having Lupus and several autoimmune diseases, I’m having to taper down very, very slowly. I can’t eat and I’m severely nauseous and dizzy. My moods are up and down and am in a continuous brain fog. I wish I would have been told the side effects and consequences of taking this long term. I wish everyone going through withdrawals the best of luck.

  • Adam January 22, 2016, 3:03 pm

    I’ve been off of my 90mg per day morphine habit for 5 weeks now, after taking it for around 4 years. I found this site on my second day of withdrawal and these comments really helped me so thanks to everyone who’s posted. All of my symptoms disappeared after around one week apart from the sweating from my armpits!

    It’s getting ridiculous now, it seems to have slowed down a bit but it still runs down my arms and ribs… so uncomfortable! Just wondering if anyone else had this after so long?? Or if anyone knows of anything to help..? Other than that I feel great. Didn’t realize how much the opiates were actually effecting me until I stopped taking them.

    I’m sleeping and eating better than I have in years! My advice to anyone going through this is just stick with it (I realize that’s easier said than done, but it’s really worth it). There is light at the end of the tunnel so just stay strong and keep in mind that within a week or even a month at the most you WILL feel better!

    • Tia May 9, 2016, 10:33 pm

      I’m glad to hear things are better for you. It gives me some hope. I’ve been on morphine 200mg+ a day for 10 years. I’ve decided as my dose keeps going up there is no solution to managing my pain and I will probably be in the same amount of pain with or without it. I want to be drug free so I’m going cold turkey. I’m on day 3 and feel horrific. Every symptom described.

      I want the withdrawal symptoms to stop and keep wondering if I’m doing the right thing. I wish I knew how long I’m going to feel like this for. It’s total hell. Knowing you’ve been on it for years and managed gives me hope but I’m terrified that my body is so used to it it might take ages. I don’t know if I can do it.

  • Joy January 8, 2016, 6:50 pm

    I’m currently withdrawing from 120mg morphine taken for 6 years for severe back pain having had 2 failed ops. It was my decision as the doctor’s choice would be to just keep increasing this evil drug, but the side effects from the morphine were becoming intolerable, so I’ve decided to come off it! It’s going to take 3 months as I’m reducing it 10mg weekly.

    It’s a nightmare… pain, constant restlessness, muscle spasms, joint pain, dreadful headaches, crawling skin, goosebumps, itching, no appetite, no energy, watering eyes, pins & needles to name but a few. I’m currently down to 40mg and hope to be off it end of January but then what? Nothing else helps the pain… I’m frightened of what’s ahead.

  • Anonymous January 5, 2016, 1:46 pm

    I was in the hospital for 24 hours and received 5 doses of 10mg morphine by injection. I never thought I would feel the withdrawal effects! But I did! I am actually. It’s been 24 hours since the last injection and I was wondering what was happening: restlessness, muscle spasm, nausea and chills. I thought I was having a bad drug interaction with my normal medication but after reading this article, I realize that it’s morphine withdrawal!

    Wow, I’m happy I only took it for one day. I can’t imagine what it must be like for long-time users. For sure, if I need to get hospitalized again, I will ask for a different pain medication.

  • Nancy January 5, 2016, 3:37 am

    Morphine withdrawal was a very difficult task for me. I took morphine sulfate ER 15 mg tablets 1 tablet 4 times a day for 15 YEARS!! I told my doctor they did nothing except give me withdrawal symptoms when I needed the next one! My pain was not controlled. He refused to let me stop so I changed Doctors and am now Morphine free and my pain is better controlled with gabapentin!!

    I had terrible problems with restless legs (kicking the habit) despite going down to 1/2 tab twice a day before quitting. I had a lot of stomach restlessness too. It affects your stomach a lot! I also still have diarrhea a month later. Good luck. It is worth quitting. I feel better in many ways. Morphine also dulls sexual response folks so be ready for that to awaken too!!

  • Matthew Robertson January 2, 2016, 8:39 pm

    Thank you for this website, it helped me navigate withdrawal from 10 years of MScontin, 50 mg x 3 times a day, for chronic pain issues. So far it’s been 14 days cold turkey with the first 10 feeling like being in a 24 hour hangover plus interrupted sleep for the first week. But I’m feeling so much better now after 2 weeks MS free! Yes there are pain issues I will have to face, but no more monthly trips to Walgreens and the scrutiny that travels with the medication!

    Just a shout out to all those teetering on the edge, hang on and see this through. My turning point was at around day 11. I will never go back to those meds, all those doctor appointments and the stigma that travels with its use. I am lucky to have a wife who is supportive and accepting in my health issues. I only wish that you have someone to reach out to when it looks bleak… Please remember this will pass. Thank you again for the information that is on this website, it helped me tremendously.

  • Marlene December 28, 2015, 10:37 pm

    I was on morphine for only 3 days. It was making me sick so I cold turkey’d it 3 days ago and am still having withdrawals. Not sure how a drug you only take for 3 days is so hard on the body to get off. Here’s to a better me in 2016.

  • Katheryn December 27, 2015, 4:52 am

    I have been taking Fentanyl patches, 200mcg/3days and Morphine sulphate for over 17 years when my Doctor of 32 years decided to retire and that meant she “must taper me down, because no new doctor will prescribe this medication to you, not without several visits and questions.” It has been 31 days since this body has had morphine of any kind.

    We went from 100 to 60 to 30 to 10 for about 3 days… then we ran out and we have not Dr. (finding a new one in Ontario is a long, uncertain process). I am down to a 50mcg patch (left over from last summer). Did I mention that just three of our diagnoses are Asthma. It feels like there is something wrong far beyond the withdrawal, our pain is no longer a number or a “spot”. It is “everywhere” and it feels often like our blood is boiling.

    I am exhausted but cannot sleep for night even on 5 pillows brings phlegm and leg cramps that make me want to scream. I went through 5 full days of throwing up – what ended up being black crap. This also means no more migraine meds or anxiety/sleep meds… I’m always nauseated even when taking gravol. …. And this is only day 31?! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, there is absolutely No quality to my life. God help us all.

  • Addie Stamey December 20, 2015, 5:17 am

    Over a week in the ER 3 times and then admitted for a kidney stone, so 4 days intermittently that week on Dilaudid. Took away the pain. Stones passed. Home now. Massive constipation for 2 days, scary. Constant fatigue, sleeping 8 hours at night, but naps needed during the day.

    Muscle aches. Quivering leg muscles. Hot flashes and sweats. Chills – can’t get warm. Trace nausea. Good to know these are side effects from Dilaudid and they will get better. Hope I never have to go on this again.

  • Mr annon December 17, 2015, 5:21 am

    Still going and now 5 days into withdrawal. Just a little nausea feeling but can cope with it OK, no appetite at all. My bowels have settled down a bit which is good news but still shaky feeling, and feel almost zombie like? Light headed & that wretched flu-like feeling is hanging on too. I’m too far into it to stop now, but remember I have only dropped my dose of MS contin by 30mg – another 60mg to go, but I think that I will get my doc to prescribe some 10mg ms contin (sr) and drop the dosage a bit slower rather than by 30mg in one hit. Makes me feel stronger by reading through all of the other posts and so I know my withdrawal is not unique, thanks again.

  • Mr annon December 15, 2015, 2:34 pm

    I have been taking Morphine for the past 17 years in the form of MS continue. I have just started to reduce my dosage by one 30mg cap per day and I’m 3 days into it. Whilst I knew (well & truly) that I was hooked on the stuff I can’t believe the withdrawal symptoms I’m experiencing by just dropping that small an amount?

    I have been nodding my head to all of the above as I read through it. I’m determined to keep reducing it until I reach zero. I would just like to thank the authors of this article for it’s accuracy and no BS approach. I will endeavor to post some more when I get a little further down the way, I’m sure I’ll make it through OK and at the least I now know a little of what I am in for? Thanks.

    • Mr annon December 17, 2015, 5:42 am

      Still going, 5 days into withdrawal. My bowels have settled down which is good news! Light headed and almost zombie like, I am shaky too so have to be careful when picking things up. That wretched flu-like symptoms are still there and actually feel worse than yesterday? Last night was the best sleep I’ve had in the past 5 days so there is some relief amongst it all? I have only dropped my dose of MS Contin by 30mg, but I think that once I get through this withdrawal I will get my doctor to prescribe some 10mg ms contin and drop the last 60mg slowly bit by bit.

      I said it before but I am quite astounded how by just cutting my dose by one third that I am feeling as lousy as I do? Must be due to the very long time that I’ve been on it? I am determined to beat this evil and so will keep hanging in there. It’s good to know that I am not alone, reading through the others’ accounts and how they have beat it helps me a lot. Cheers

  • Grizz December 12, 2015, 10:27 pm

    Grizz started taking morphine when 16 Norco tablets a day could not relieve my chronic pain from an industrial injury. Since then I was able to live a normal albeit seditary life for 15 years. Then the government’s of California and the Feds came down hard on morphine and I was instantly treated like a criminal.

    I was taking over 400 mg ER morphine orally daily. I tapered myself off the first 200 mg before I got an appointment. They continued to taper me to the point where the back pain was winning again, and I was morbidly in fear of the unbearable pain and withdrawal. I fell down near my bed one night severely re-injuring my back injury and experiencing the worst back and hip and leg pain ever. Of course they would not give me a higher dose.

    In the weeks that followed I tried to cope and took too many pills by the time for my next monthly med check and Rx. The P A chided and humiliated me, then denied any help and said I had to wait for my regular time to pick up more morphine. I was forced to endure a 75% rapid reduction for the next six days, and became sicker than I have ever been in my life, and my weak heart (2 open heart surgeries and 12 CABGrafts) felt like it was going to rip out of my chest.

    I had to go to my personal doctor who helped me calm down and even sleep with a small Rx of Ativan. Worked great. I have only 60mg daily now to get off of. Hopefully I can do it slowly and taper after I receive an SCS Implant in 3 days. MY ADVICE TO ANYONE = NEVER TRY ANY THING LIKE THIS UNLESS YOU KNOW JESUS. PRAY CONSTANTLY AND TRUST IN JESUS!!!!!. Even if you die, you will live again in Heaven, but the Love and help you can receive from trusting in Him is very real. You will be amazed! Grizz

  • mikehod December 10, 2015, 9:16 pm

    I’ve gone cold turkey from 1 to 2 grams of heroin a day before which is way worse the prescription pills. I’ve gone cold turkey several times actually. All you folks struggling with opiate withdrawal should google “mega dose vitamin c for opiate withdrawal”… I went that route the last 2 times and it knocks 80-90% of the withdrawals out.

  • Garry December 5, 2015, 3:55 pm

    I was on morphine for almost 2 month’s now and the doc has been weaning me off slowly. I haven’t taken it for 3 days now. However I am going through some withdrawals… I have been vomiting off an on for 2 days now. I do drink liquids. I did drink 2 glasses of OJ I don’t recommend that. I did spike a little fever but that didn’t last very long. I am on my way to recovery.

  • clare November 29, 2015, 5:59 pm

    Hi having read all of your unique yet united stories I’m scared but positive. I notice that no one took I.M. I inject 15mg twice a day for chest pain, a messy historectomy and recurring mastitis. This has been for 18 months. My GP put me on cloneazepam for epilepsy god knows what he was thinking. After 5 months I got of that alone it took 90 days and would want my worst enemy to be on it or withdraw from it.

    My doc also had me on fentanyl 75mg patches i had for 2 years which I went cold turkey. 2 weeks of physical flu symptoms and muscle pain anxiety and insomnia and a further 3 of psychological side effects. I was given the morphine while I was on the patches to help when I had a case mastitis. However I was only on morphine then and it crept up to 60mg a day. So with the great sadness it was safer to go back on the fentanyl than keep injecting and risking an ulcer in my butt cheeks.

    So as I said on 15mg twice a day and the patches. I want of the morphine as it feels unnatural injecting even day. So having read your personal experiences, I am going to reduce to 20mg per 24 hours then 10mg then use the clonazepam to go through withdrawal as I never got a buzz and hated and figure 6 days or so is not long enough for my body to need it and I will be morphine free. Then as I have done the fentanyl before I know I can do that and I have only been on it again for 2 months this time. Any advice will be so helpfull.

    You each have such varied honest and encouraging posts even if I get no response I will read them again and again when need as on my own and it has scared me but given me the encouragement to this and I don’t know if or when I would have stopped if you all hadn’t taken the time to share your experiences and give each other support. So if I hear nothing what you have done already has helped me and will continue to do so. Many Thanks and my respect for you all. Clare

  • Dan November 28, 2015, 10:03 am

    I was on a high dose of Morphine and Vicodin for 10 year through the VA, and was forced to go go cold turkey due to administrative issues. I had to change Doctors and my new doc would not prescribe the meds, or even taper me off. By the time I went to the patient advocate and got a response, I was already in full blown withdrawals and could not possibly handled leaving the house under my own power.

    The severe portion of withdrawal came about two days after stoppage and lasted about ten days. I don’t remember sleeping for 5 of them days. Pain was unbelievable, as well as the rest of the symptoms, but being out of my mind, I tried taking cough medicines, regular OTC pain meds, and even though I had been dry for many years, I took two strong mixed drinks, and they didn’t even make a dent. I didn’t want to include a hangover on top of what I was going through, and I didn’t want to resume active alcoholism either, so I waited it out.

    Restless leg syndrome about drove me out of my mind. There were so many things that happened during this period, that I couldn’t possibly write them all down, and surprisingly, not all of them were bad. Most were. These took place over a period of about 2 months, after the 10 day, I thought I was gonna die period. Then the hard part began… Depression. By this time I was able to drive and made appt with my shrink. I was transferred to a new shrink cause my old one wouldn’t see me anymore.

    I was prescribed anti-depressants and found them to cloud my mind, it also ruined any chance of a sex life. It also didn’t solve the depression. I closed myself off from the world for the next two years. I made just enough appts to my shrink to get the klonopin I needed to stave off anxiety attacks. I am just now getting out into the world and doing things socially. I have backed off the klonopin by a large degree and now take Gabapentin for pain.

    The Gaba also seems to help with perking me up some, but it makes me want to smoke more. Strange, but hopefully this is a phase and I can wean off the Gaba. I am still working on it after 2 years, but I am not sure all of it is withdrawal related. Hell, I am not sure of anything these days, but I am off the morphine and vicodin and that is the main thing. One of the things I kept reading was the cravings for more morphine, but if someone were to offer me any, they would likely get shot! I didn’t have the cravings. Thank God.

    I would like to add, that while I did this mostly on my own (not a good idea), I think I should have forced myself to get out more, but I just didn’t care to. I guess that is why they call it depression… I had also shut down my business and pushed away all my friends until they stopped trying. I still don’t like answering the phone or knocks on the door, but do make phone calls and go places now. I like to do this on my terms, so I am not reliable yet to make predetermined dates or get-togethers, but it keeps getting better, with lapses here and there. Going at it hard for a day or two, invites a few days of downtime.

    I am still scared sh*tless of the Wal-Mart store, but I am making progress. I am not sure why it is taking me so long to get through the depression stage, but I believe it to be a combination of factors. I am getting ripe at 59 and I seem to be having issues finding new friends or even hooking up with old ones. I seem to like my solitude, but hate my lack of ambition. I can do just about anything I want, I just don’t want to.

    I did buy a Corvette, but it mostly stays in the garage. I just need to find something to do with myself and keep doing it. Might have to move off the farm and try some city livin. At least now I have a choice and am not addled by the dope. Good luck everyone and God bless. -Dan

  • Nicole November 23, 2015, 1:16 am

    I have been on morphine 15mg 4-6 times a day for a little over two years. I have fibro and when I lost my insurance my mom offered me her PRN morphine that she didn’t use so I have been using that for my pain meds. Out of nowhere she said she can’t give me the meds anymore so I had to quit cold turkey. I am on day 4 without. The first 3 days were horrific. Right now I am suffering from insomnia, restless legs, sneezing, cold/hot flashes and crying spells, and NO energy.

    Sounds like a lot but its much better than it was. The one thing that is getting to me is if I was handed a tab I probably wouldn’t turn it down at this point BC I know it would take this all away. However I’ve come this far and that’s what is keeping me going. I’m only 32 and have 4 young children. This medicine has me hostage. If I was away from home and knew I needed it soon I would start panicking. It was my world. So now I am starting over, a clean new world with no chains attached. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I will be praying for all of you too. You can do this!!!

  • Ruby November 14, 2015, 1:59 am

    Been taking opiates since 1908 quit in 2003 only to go back on after an injury to my back trying to cold turkey both morphine and Percocet. 21 days now still feel those nasty withdrawals and want to take the meds, but I keep saying you are 21 days now it has to get better. My withdrawals are so bad I hate my life this way, but I hate my life on meds. I have cried, been far from normal.

    When I was on meds I could function fine. It was when I tried to wean or skip a dose. But the thought of being on these drugs makes me unhappy not functioning like I want to be as a mom of 5 kids. Feel I am not going outside I totally am de socialized. I just read all the comments and I just want to say I know it is hard. Hard is not even close to describe these symptoms because only a person who is trying to quit knows what I mean it is beyond words to describe what we feel like.

    My nerve dystrophy hurts so bad that is why I am on meds. Morphine is the best drug that helps the pain. Percocets are just fill ins I take Xanax due to pain disorder. Zofran for nausea. I cannot stopy Xanax yet. I am scared due to the withdrawal pains seem to have not subsided but seem just as bad since day one. I wish there were groups for morphine or opiate people who are in our place to cope with not NA, but chronic pain clean groups.

    Because I do not understand the word NA and getting high this is not my situation getting high is not me addicted yes, cravings for the mess no just plan sick of pain addiction is what I feel I am. Pain is a word I will have everyday but addiction pain is what I want out of my life. Thank you because no one understands unless you are trying to QUIT.

  • Suzanne November 7, 2015, 1:59 pm

    I had syncromed pump fitted 73 days ago as I have suffered for many years with spina bifida ocultta. Although I didnt know I had it I was operated on, I had a spinal fusion on my facet joints. To cut a very long story short, 14 days after having it fitted my legs started to swell and become very sore. Also I had chronic fatigue.

    After being told that it had nothing to do with the pump they tried all different test. I was having 0.75mg of morphine straight to the spine and got the pump switched right down to the minimal setting. I am now going through cold turkey… It’s hard all my pain has come back but the withdrawal is awful. Anxiety… Don’t want to see anyone, Restlessness… Feel I can’t keep still, Sickness…

    I can’t eat anything I really don’t want food but I’m trying to drink as much water as I can, Dizziness… This is hard climbing stairs is awful, Moods… I cry just burst out crying. But with all this going on I can feel my body coming back to me.

    • Ruby November 14, 2015, 2:10 am

      I feel the same with my RSD which is all my myelin sheath on nerves is gone. I hope that I soon feel myself which I do not now – that is right now at 21 days opiate free. But I can relate to anxiety and restlessness and sweats still. Prayers for everyone on this page.

  • Lynne November 7, 2015, 4:45 am

    I’ve been on 100mg MS Contin 3 x daily for almost 10 years, plus Fentanyl 75mcg patches, and Hydromorphone 8 mg prn. I lowered my MS Contin dose to 100 2x daily and 60 mg 1x daily for 3 months. I’ve been depressed, sweating, irritable, but want to get this over with. This is all outpatient as my insurance won’t cover any facilities I’d feel safe with.

    I had pancreatitis at one point and the hospital gave me a weak Demerol drip as I could take nothing by mouth. I experienced absolute hell, going through every possible cold turkey withdrawal symptoms including hallucinating, vomiting non stop, and losing continence in my bed. I remember waking up in ICU with a Dr. and students discussing me as an example of a heroin addict.

    I got my boyfriend to sneak in my meds (I was on a much lower dose at the time) as I was cleared to eat by mouth. I got the HELL out of there as fast as possible. Another facility took away my diazepam (I have panic disorder even on all the opiates,) so needless to say I am terrified of going into any facilities. My recent pain Dr gave me MS Contin 60 mg 3x a day which is an 80 mg jump.

    I’m going to his office with no appointment Monday am as I refuse to be tortured any further for having Chronic Pain Syndrome. PLEASE EVERYONE TAKE CARE, DR’S ARE BUSY AND CAN MAKE ERRORS, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!

  • Jeff November 7, 2015, 2:10 am

    It’s 2.05 am and it’s still impossible to sleep. I was only on morphine sulphate 30mg at night and 20mg during the day plus 10 ml of oromorph when needed for 3 months. I started cutting back about two weeks ago and today is the 3rd day without any at all. What a nightmare.

    I have slept for a maximum of 6 hours in 3 days. Runny nose, feel like I have flue, really irritable, blurred vision and feeling like crap, diarrhea and terrible itching all over my body. I can’t wait to put this behind me and get my life back.

    • Nicole November 23, 2015, 1:54 am

      I have had the blurred vision too. All the other symptoms people are saying, but you’re the first I’ve seen with that one like me. Also sneezing like crazy. I day 4 almost 5 without. This past week has been a blur and I can’t wait to get my normal life back. Praying for you!

  • Dug3 November 1, 2015, 5:52 am

    I recently relapsed and started taking 60mg Morphine pills. There steadily available. First thing I had to do was just do it. Delete all my contacts, facebook, whatever ways I can get a hold of someone to get more. I started Tuesday, today is Sunday am. I am at work right now. The 2nd and 3rd days were the hardest. I’m on zoloft and buspar for anxiety, and luckily I had recently hurt myself and had muscle relaxers and Klonopin’s to get me through the bad days. This is the 3rd time I’ve done this. Was on methadone for 6 years, got off of it.

    Started abusing it by a connection. Then cold turkey, that…was…terrible, the underlying problem was my anxiety and social anxiety. Obviously we all know that opiates make us feel great. So I got on zoloft, and just recently got on 15mg buspar. I’ve done this 3 times now, and this was the only time I confided in someone about it. At first I didn’t feel better, but for that person to give me that push was amazing.

    I somewhat have my appetite back, anxiety has subsided a bit, the tiredness is still there. I look forward to when I can get off work, walk into my house, lay down and just sleep! And it will come. Biggest thing I thing made the change between yesterday and today was Gatorade and food. Klonopin makes you hungry, I downed 2 bagels. Imodium is a must! Even Alka Celser cold and flu will help. I’ve stayed away from sleeping stuff, cause if you don’t get that sleep that the product requires you’ll feel tired and groggy.

    Get up, take a shower, was dishes and feed your dog, next day do a load of laundry. Push yourself through these things and I promise you it will help mentally, stretching and walks is big too. I abused morphine pills for about 2 months, and I’m steal healing. I didn’t taper. Good luck and always remember that it won’t always last. Take one day at a time.

  • Patti October 26, 2015, 8:06 pm

    Day 12 cold turkey… MS Contin. I took only 15mg at night and thought I would march right through stopping without any consequence. Boy was I wrong. I’ve taken opioids for 10 years after a fusion at s1/l5 where my sciatic nerve was trapped during surgery and remained trapped for a year pending hardware removal when the surgeon realized his mistake. Permanent nerve damage, followed a surgery by North American Spine when the Dr. put a hole in my spinal cord….which created arachnoiditis and subsequently disc torn at L3 and spondeloythesis at l4/l5 with arthritis.

    Bottom line just had pain constantly in my spine and leg. Had no idea MS Contin was so so addictive! I continue to take Norco 3 times a day which helps withdrawal in the middle of the night. Headache, RLS, depression, lethargy, can’t concentrate and want to isolate. Tired of this withdrawal but I will NEVER take morphine again. Prayers to you all that are suffering with these withdrawals. Agree with previous post. We need education on how additive this is. Thanks for reading.

  • ASB October 24, 2015, 6:37 am

    Hello: I am currently on 8mg hydromorphone every 4 hours for bone tumor pain (except middle of the night…explained later) and 0.6ml Opium Tincture every 4 hour for chronic diarrhea, and 5mg xanax twice a day. I was prescribed these meds about 7 years ago, at lower doses of course, but doses increased over the years due to the symptoms and becoming acclimated to them.

    The saddest part of my story is that there really wasn’t any need for these meds in the first place. It wasn’t the rare cancer that was causing my problems…. it was my ‘ex’ who had been planning for years to divorce (I learned in hindsight) and was unwilling to just file for divorce because he believed every penny was “his” and only wanted the $$ from my life insurance and inheritance. He never cared for me (25 yr married) or our daughters, but only the mistresses.

    His answer to his dilemma was to hasten my demise, which he began way back around 1995. I learned this for a fact in hindsight and twice I actually saw him adding something to my daily coffee, and had I severe reactions (severe vomiting within 10 minutes) to foods which only I ate after I’d been away from my house (even after moving to a rental after separation, this continued)…but I was in denial, thinking ‘surely not!” and even though I saw it happen, because he had put video/audio surveillance in our home (monitored my computer, cellphone, home phone, etc.)

    I didn’t know to put any cameras in the house and if I had, his cameras would have ‘seen’ this and he’d removed them…. so as the court only cares about what you can ‘prove’, I’m at a loss. What I eventually found out was that the additive he was ‘feeding’ me for years was a poison…. and when I looked up the symptoms of this, those symptoms mimicked the symptoms of my rare cancer. All along, I and my doctors just thought that the cancer was getting worse.

    By 2007-2009, I had chronic explosive diarrhea, ocular migraines, rapid weight loss, muscle spasms, severe nerve pain (to the point of tears) ‘muscle wasting’, non-stop tachycardia, and on and on, that I was prescribed the Opium Tincture for the severe explosive diarrhea and hydromorphone for the pain. The hydromorphone however, did nothing for the nerve pain and nothing stopped the debilitating muscle spasms. The only thing that helped me was to ‘give in’ and move out…. that hurt because my ‘ex’ told my daughters that I did not want them.

    At that time (Nov 2010) I weighed 115lbs whereas I’d averaged 165 my entire life. Although I know my 3 rentals have been accessed (in at least one he and the landlord also installed those smoke detectors which are really audio/video surveillance so he knew when I was away). The last access was this past May, which I know as I had to call the sheriff when man was in my backyard, the alimony check was in the mail box without any postmark (mail hadn’t come yet), and I had such a severe reaction to whatever was added to, I think my coffee or water filter pitcher) that I thought I was having a heart attack.

    Over time, ALL of my symptoms have lessened (except when I suspect access) to the point that I don’t think I need these medications. I know that I will still have diarrhea as it is a common side effect of this cancer, but to a much lesser extent that I think I could get by with an OTC. I may also still have pain from the bone tumors, but not enough to need my current dosage of hydromorphone. So, as sad as the reason why I was put on these meds to begin with… at least I’m more or less free from my ex and the hastening (most of the time), and I want to get off of these meds.

    One of my doctors is aware and he is willing to talk to me ‘off record’ but he’s my endo and GP and isn’t the one who prescribes these meds. My oncologist, who prescribes them, is NOT one who I can tell just what happened as he reports ALL in my chart… I cannot tell him I no longer think I need them nor why nor that my symptoms have lessened as he will not taper, but simply no longer prescribe. (He already cut my hydro – 2 year ago – from 360/mth to 300/mth, telling me just not to take my dose in the middle of the night.

    I told him, however, that when I skip this dose, then it’s 8 hrs between doses and I wake up after 4-6 hours already in DTs (dripping sweat, vomiting, chills, muscle spasms, etc) and he just says “sounds like withdrawal.”) and continually tries to get me to switch to a long-acting MS Contin, but I refused. I know I need to taper, though being an addictive personality, with no friends or family for support – I live alone, and have no friends through this ugly divorce.

    STILL in litigation to this day… – it’s difficult to control the taper dosage. I am looking into alternative herbal ‘help’ for the DTs, especially Matt Finch’s site on opiate withdrawal. I appreciate everyone’s sharing their story…. you all give me hope!

  • Jeanne October 23, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I have been on Morphine Sulfate for probably 5 years, for extreme pain from Fibromyalgia. I recently began going to a “chiropractic doctor” that does not do chiropractic anymore but has researched alternative methods to control pain and apparently is fairly well renowned. The therapy for me consists of Class IV Laser, PEMF treatments, an “On Trac” chair that basically gently and intermittently pulls your body to stretch it.

    After three sessions I have been able to eliminate my nightly dose, thereby taking only 2 pills in the morning around 6:00 and not needing to take any until the next morning. I soon will want to decrease the dosage even more but I definitely will need my doctor to work with me before I attempt it. The chiropractic doctor I am going to is Dr. John Peters at his “Wellness” center in Walnut Creek, California. It is expensive and insurance doesn’t over it just as in years ago was the case with acupuncture.

    Check it out online. It’s worth the research. Good luck to all of you, and, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for myself that I don’t go through bad withdrawals.

  • Ali October 12, 2015, 12:10 am

    I am on day 4 of cold turkey withdrawal from 60mg every 12 hours of MS Contin and up to 6- 7.5mg Norco per day for over 6 years for ankylosis spondylitis that has caused spinal fusion and severe inflammation and fluid build up. I have stopped taking the Norco before and never had any withdrawal symptoms. However, stopping both at the same time has been pure hell. This is by far the worst thing I have ever gone through.

    I was not able to taper off because my doctor had a heart attack and suddenly shut down his practice. I called all over to explain the circumstances and there was absolutely no help offered. I was continually told it would be 4-6 weeks to get an appointment. So, without a choice I had to stop taking these pills. The first, second and third days I was tormented with hot and cold flashes all at the same time. I was soaked in sweat but if I got around any cold air blowing on me I was absolutely freezing cold(but still sweating profusely).

    The muscle spasms have been almost unbearable to deal with, however I did take some Excedrin which helped a little. I also had the non stop yawning and severe watery eyes. The third day started the intense migraine type headaches. I have also started getting overwhelming feelings of sadness and just start to cry. I feel like I’m getting back emotions that have been suppressed for a very long time. Since day one I have had no appetite but have been trying to drink water.

    When I do eat anything, I become nauseated. I am unable to sit or lay still and when I do fall asleep it’s not very long or restful. Luckily, I have some mild muscle relaxers that have allowed me to get some sleep. Day four the hot and cold flashes have stopped(which has been a miracle). The back pain has intensified along with my hips and shoulders, heat and ibuprofen have helped a little with the aches and pains. I am hoping I’m on the home stretch of this nightmare but after reading what others have posted, I’m not so sure.

    What I do know is that I never want to go through this hell again. When I do get into a doctor in 4-6 weeks, I will refuse any opioid pain pills. In the meantime, I am going to try acupuncture, massage, and naturopathic herbs because at this point I’m willing to give anything a shot(except narcotic meds) to relieve this terrible back pain. I don’t recommend the cold turkey method but whether you do this or taper off, do what you can to get off of morphine! It is the devil in disguise.

    I know I can get through this and will be better off in the long run. I was ignorant when I started taking these narcotic pills and had no idea what they would do to my body and my mind. From here on out, before I start taking any prescription medicine, I will do my research first!!! I wish everyone luck with their journey and hope that once the withdrawal symptoms stop you will know it was the right thing to do.

    • Ali October 29, 2015, 4:55 am

      Update: I’ve made it to almost three weeks after stopping Morphine Sulphate and Hydrocodone “cold turkey”. On day 6, I did end up in the ER completely dehydrated but I was very up front with the doctor about what I was going through and that I did not want anything except fluid. To my amazement the doctor was very supportive and only gave me IV fluid and a cold pack for the back pain. I missed a week of work because the symptoms were so intense. However, I was very fortunate to have a sympathetic boss.

      Since day 4 I have been going to acupuncture 4 days a week and massage once a week, which I really believe is what has got me to this stage. I have been able to be back at work full time for almost two weeks now.

      I still do not have an appetite and have lost about 25 pounds but every day I try to force myself to eat a little something. I don’t eat big meals because I still get the intestinal cramping if I eat much more than some toast or rice. However, I am able to drink plenty of water so I stay hydrated. I think the worse is over but I know there can still be symptoms for months. I also still am hit and miss when it comes to sleeping soundly. I am hopeful that will also get better. However, I will take all of this over being a slave to a prescription medication.

      My prayers go out to anyone in the midst of the first stages of withdrawal. There is nothing easy about it. But if I can get through it, anyone can!! It is worth it! Stay strong!

  • Lindsay October 10, 2015, 10:38 am

    I have spent several months on morphine whilst awaiting an opp on my spine. I was on 120mgs slow release morphine, topping up with up to 100mgs at the height of liquid morphine. As my opp approached I had managed to taper right down to just 40mgs a day but then I ran out of meds and went cold turkey! I would highly advise against ever doing this. Within about 7 hours of the last pill my body was not my own.

    Constant vile sickness and nausea, and the worst stabbing pain in my stomach and all along my digestive tract, The diarrhea was constant, foul, chemical, burning and seemed never ending. For three days I have had orange stinging water projectiling from my bum, exhausting. It’s the forth day now, the nausea, is subsiding, this is for me the best improvement, although the chills, cramps, muscle spasms, headache, kidney ache etc will not be missed either. This site has given me hope to carry on, I think the worst is behind me, hopefully. Good luck to all, I wish you good health and happiness.

  • PDADDY September 30, 2015, 4:01 pm

    I have been taking morphine sulfate for 5 years (dosage 15mg Sr 3 x’s daily ). It was causing me to not get jobs because the company would tell me I was a liability. So I decided that I have to quit because I need to continue working to take care of my wife, 2 sons and my 81 year old mother. They are depending on me to be a MAN and not a deadbeat.

    So I talked with my Dr. and he aloud me to wean myself off the morphine. I began by cutting my pill in half and only taking a half dose 3 x’s a day. I did this for about 3 weeks and then went to only 2 halves a day for 3 weeks. And finally 1 half a day for 3 weeks. I got laid off on a Thursday and I knew I had to stop for the sake of having to go to another job. I work construction and that’s the way it works job to job.

    I felt awful for the first week or so. It’s been 3 weeks and I am still having problems sleeping and then wanting to get out of the bed to go to my new job. I do have other pain meds that have helped me get where I am at, but the hardest part is getting back into the groove of getting up and going to work because I have pain back in my life and it is hard to function properly.

    I am eaten up with spinal degeneration (arthritis in my neck, shoulders, and lower back causing my arms and legs to hurt and go numb). I’m going to continue to do what I got to do until I can’t do no more. I hate that my family has to see me like this, but they love me and support me, and that helps a lot. Hope I was able to help someone by sharing my story. PEACE AND PRAYERS!

  • Sue September 24, 2015, 3:57 am

    To anyone who has gone “cold turkey” from opiates, it really is the absolute worse experience ever! I thought I was going to die honestly…But there is light at the end of the tunnel, taking that medication really seems to actually make your pain worse. I have been clean off this horrible drug for 9 months now and my brain is finally back to the so called norm.

    My withdrawal lasted for approx 5 weeks, and took about 6 months to actually start feeling like me again! But it does get easier! And I actually have no pain anymore! So those of you going through this, just think there really is light at the end of the tunnel, and your brain function will come back! They really need to take these horrible drugs off the market!

  • scared sister September 23, 2015, 10:09 pm

    I have read approximately 100 of the previous comments/testimonials and taken two full legal-sized pages of notes. My sister who is 70 years old has been on morphine for several years due to severe pain from chronic polymyalgia rheumatica, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, broken neck vertebrae, broken shoulder, etc. In the last couple years my sister’s pain clinic doctor cut her painkiller morphine in half.

    Then, during the last visit they gave her 50/50 morphine & Vicodin. The Vicodin did not help the pain at all, but the pain clinic would not reinstate the other 50% of her morphine until the next month’s dosage was due in two weeks. Hence she is out of her morphine completely for the past 24 hrs and feeling nauseous. The pain clinic physicians are unmoved by her pain or withdrawal.

    She will probably end up in ER, as this sounds like the beginning of cold turkey withdrawal and her morphine Rx won’t be renewed for two more weeks. What can be done to get her enough medication for her to taper off the M or get what she needs without having to go to the ER? She is not a Hospice patient and is not terminal with any of her maladies.

    She has been on antidepressants all of her life and has had suicidal ideations in the past and has ongoing severe anxiety even without withdrawal. I fear that cold turkey withdrawal could cause her to take her life. I am scared. How can I help her? How often do people die from withdrawal? If she dies, will the pain clinic take responsibility for her death?

  • Art Weaver September 15, 2015, 3:38 pm

    I’m weaning off of a 180mg daily morphine addiction. I’m on day 25, and only taking 15mg daily at this point. In the next few days I’ll be reducing to 7.5mg daily. Taking Emergen-C mega-dose powders along with acetylcholine and melatonin will help with many of the symptoms. They are all OTC! For me the worst has been the incredible fatigue, followed closely by the restlessness. The stomach cramps/pain is awful as well. But, if you find something easily digested and drink Pedialyte or similar it helps a lot. I’m taking clonidine and Baclofen from the doc, but they don’t seem to help much…

  • Victoria September 10, 2015, 6:37 pm

    I really feel for everyone who has tried or is trying to get off morphine. I am horrified at the cavalier attitude many doctors have about withdrawal. The pain management place I have been going to for 4 years (degenerative disk disease, at least 2 of my disks are completely flat, and I have neuropathy in both legs) suddenly changed staff, and the physician’s assistant I saw yesterday was someone who used to run an urgent care facility years ago.

    What’s weird about this is that he is into alternative quackery such as Reiki, “healing at a distance”, and “intuitive healing”. I never thought I would see him working at a place where most of the treatment is just prescribing opiates. When I entered the facility yesterday, it was nearly empty. I think what’s happened is the clinic is cutting people off and dumping them – that is the only explanation I can think of for a clinic that is usually full to be suddenly nearly empty.

    I told the PA the morphine wasn’t working as well as it used to (tolerance), and that it interferes with my vacation plans (I had to cancel a Christmas trip last year because the DEA has now made it nearly impossible to fill out of state prescriptions). His idea? “Just stop taking them.” Go from 60 mg/day time-released morphine sulfate to nothing? It says in my chart I take medication for hypertension – didn’t he think that just stopping would cause my blood pressure to skyrocket?

    And to top it off, this guy used to work at the same drug rehab place I worked at (I was a D&A counselor), so he really ought to have been better educated than to suggest something like that! So, he ended up prescribing 15 mg BID (cut the dosage in half, essentially) with 10 mg oxycodone for breakthrough pain. I asked him what else could I do if I still have pain after I come off the meds? His answer: “Continue with your vegetarian diet and ignore your pain.”

    I am not aware that disks can regenerate (unless you’re Dr. Who), so I don’t think I am going to be pain-free without medication by just ignoring it. There is no evidence to support Reiki (this “life force” they talk about doesn’t exist), acupuncture, or hypnotherapy for pain management. I am shocked that a pain management clinic would hire someone who is such a quack. So far I am OK with the dosage, though I did have some extra 30 mg pills so I am at 45 mg, not 30.

    I will taper off to 15 mg/day by the time I go back next month. I am just so tired of having to schedule visits with my adult kids around my opiate supply. I don’t know what I will do about the pain. I already do all the cognitive things I am supposed to do (meditation, distraction, and so on). I really wish Pennsylvania would legalize medical marijuana because I am sure that would help with the neuropathy.

    But, being on disability means I cannot afford any kind of cannabis product, legal or otherwise. I would much prefer cannabis to opiates, any day. There just doesn’t seem to be a good solution to pain.

  • Mo Russell September 10, 2015, 6:21 pm

    I have been on some form of extended release morphine sulfate for about 15 years now. First it was the fentanyl patches, then Avinza and now Kadian (generic). I’m at 300 mgs per day…or WAS until a month ago. My taper is going in increments of 20mgs. I tried withdrawal at 40 mgs of decrease per day about 8 years ago and it was hell on earth. This time, the 20 increment decrease is working “pretty well”.

    The problem is that the pain I have is chronic and there’s no magic fix. I am only at the 260 mgs stage right now. But I’m going to see how I do as I keep the decreases of 20 mgs at a time going. I feel awful for all of you and the stories of read of your withdrawals. I know it can be hell because I’ve felt it. I was unsuccessful 8 years ago but I am feeling better this time around. My doctor is changing these every two weeks. So it’s going to take a minimum of six months if I DO make it through this.

    My only symptoms so far are the following: sweating like crazy (which for a 52 year old menopausal woman ain’t fun!? :)), burning pain in my shoulder blades and actually my entire torso, which seems to disappear as I adjust to the new dose, headaches (which I NEVER get, it’s the only place that doesn’t hurt on my body!?), and low blood pressure, when I stand up I get incredibly dizzy.

    Other than that, this time, there is NO nausea, no shakes, no increased depression, no suicidal feelings, no “additional” anxiety, and really …nothing much that is mentioned above. The downside to all of this is, it’s going to take a LONG time. However, my goal is to try to deal with my pain through yoga, stretching and my usual exercise routine. We shall see.

    I have more hope than most people and tend to be very positive and I hope those help. Good luck to anyone who is trying this and please, if you can be patient, do it slowly because withdrawal is much more tolerable that way. :)

  • Mona September 9, 2015, 7:54 am

    I live in Canada. Went for a massage for a sore shoulder in July and the masseuse decided to pretend she was doctor and shifted my hips oddly. I now have a herniated sciatic disk in my back. The pain was so unbearable I could barely move. I couldn’t sit or lay on my back, I could only lay on my stomach. The first week the doctors prescribed me percs, but I was going through them like candy. So they put me on 30mgs of morphine every 12 hours, figuring this would help me for the pain as well as be easy to stop taking.

    Literally saying to me that “when ever you feel you no longer need them and can stop and switch to advil just stop and do so”. So after 4 weeks… I did. That was the worst thing I could have done. 24 hours later I was at the hospital with severe vomiting (I couldn’t even keep a sip of water down, it would come back up immediately), anxiety, shaking, chills, restlessness, insomnia… I have a 10 month old baby I neId to be able to look after him, so this was not working for me.

    After speaking to 2 doctors at the hospital they decided I should taper off the drug by taking 15mgs, and when I asked them for help with my stomach, their opinion was that once I had the morphine back in my system the withdrawal would stop. I went to my family dr received 15mgs, again asked for help with my stomach and was told try gaviscon. Early that morning I was back at the hospital emergency still vomiting, actually vomiting bile at the point, severe chills, unable to control my legs, dehydrated, severe anxiety, panic attacks, crying, insomnia, severe pain… it was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve had 2 emergency C sections.

    The hospital put me on an IV drip, then tried 2 stomach drugs for nausea made for cancer patients and made me take one of the morphine 15mgs pills. All while freaking out on the gurney feeling like I was losing my mind. Then sent me home the second I finally relaxed and fell asleep at 6 am with 2 pills for my stomach. For 2 more days I tried the 15mgs, still having withdrawal symptoms throughout. I went to the walk in doctors clinic to get more meds for the stomach, and finally broke down.

    I said to him under these circumstances with my history, ignoring everything the other doctors have decided for me so far what would you do. He said, that I was only prolonging the withdrawal and to just stop taking everything. That I would have 72 hours of hell, but that he thought I was strong and could get through it. So I did. I’m 48 hours in. And it sucks!!

    From not being able to stay still, anxiety, insomnia, tightness in my chest, gasping to breathe, shallow breathing, chills, diarrhea like I’ve never had before, sweating through layers of clothes through the sheets, pain so bad I cried and screamed for 3 hours… I’m not going to recommend cold turkey… I really wish I had come across one doctor that would have listened to me and taken my symptoms seriously and sent me somewhere for help. I’m lucky I have an amazing family to support me and look after my son.

    But this was ridiculous. Even though I was not on that strong of a dose for that long, I was VERY sensitive to the morphine and my body acted like it was a massive dose. And as I sit here writing this with massive cramping pain, all I can say is stay away from these drugs. Get off them as fast as possible. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this.

  • Bill September 1, 2015, 7:26 pm

    Day 1 withdrawal…Complete exhaustion
    Day 2 diarrhea and no appetite
    Day 3 insomnia and sweating
    Day 4 insomnia and sweating
    Day 5 appetite slowly increased but felt like I had a fever
    Day 6 to 10 gradually everything returned to normal
    It was a very unpleasant experience to say the least.

    • Makayla March 1, 2016, 7:49 am

      I have been on ms morphine for 3 years. I have been tapering without much success. BUT I STILL TRY EVERY MONTH. This month I ran low (purposely threw away 1.4 of my doses) Now I am down to 15 mugs 2 times daily. It’s bad, I have all symptoms but am hopeful. I will only have enough to get me through 2 days for I am going to reduce tomorrow to only 15 mg I time daily then 7.5 the next then none at all. Pray for me please! It hurts already, but I, just like so MANY of you, am so tired of being a slave to this drug.

  • Frances July 14, 2015, 7:13 pm

    I recently had a revision of an old knee replacement which was 11 years old. I was given Morphine 15mg to take home with me and was told I could take up to six pills a day. The most I took in one day was three and for the last two months I take one at night. I tried to come off by taking one every other night but the physical symptoms were very difficult to deal with since I have rheumatoid arthritis and am in a flare-up because I missed two infusions (chemo-therapy) due to the surgery. My GP will not give me another prescription so I have to stop taking this drug but I am petrified. I am on a lot of other medications for various health issues including Pristiq and Clonazepam. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to get off this drug?

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