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Morphine facts for kids

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Morphine, formerly also called morphia, is found naturally in opium, a dark brown resin produced by drying the latex of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum). It is mainly used as an analgesic (pain medication). Physical and psychological dependence and tolerance may develop with repeated administration.

Potentially serious side effects of morphine include decreased respiratory effort, vomiting, nausea, and low blood pressure. Common side effects of morphine include drowsiness, vomiting, and constipation.

Morphine was first isolated between 1803 and 1805 by German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner. This is believed to be the first isolation of a medicinal alkaloid from a plant. Merck began marketing it commercially in 1827. Morphine was more widely used after the invention of the hypodermic syringe in 1853–1855. Sertürner originally named the substance morphium, after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus, as it has a tendency to cause sleep.

In 2013, approximately 523 tons of morphine were produced. Approximately 45 tons were used directly for pain, an increase of 400% over the last twenty years. Morphine is sold under many brand names. In 2021, it was the 156th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 3 million prescriptions. It is available as a generic medication.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Morfina para niños

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