From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


(+)-Morphine is a naturally occurring opioid compound found in the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). It is one of the most potent pain relievers known and has been used in medicine for centuries.

History[edit | edit source]

The use of opium for pain relief dates back to ancient times, but it was not until the 19th century that morphine was isolated from opium by the German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner. He named the compound after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, due to its sedative properties.

Chemistry[edit | edit source]

(+)-Morphine is a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid with a molecular formula of C17H19NO3. It is a chiral compound, meaning it exists in two enantiomeric forms, (+)-morphine and (-)-morphine. The (+)-form is the naturally occurring and biologically active form.

Pharmacology[edit | edit source]

(+)-Morphine acts primarily on the mu-opioid receptor, but also has effects on the delta and kappa opioid receptors. It produces its analgesic effects by inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in the central nervous system. However, it also has a number of side effects, including respiratory depression, constipation, and addiction.

Medical Use[edit | edit source]

(+)-Morphine is used in medicine for the relief of severe pain, such as that associated with cancer or major surgery. It is also used in palliative care to improve the quality of life for those with serious, life-threatening illnesses.

Legal Status[edit | edit source]

In many countries, (+)-Morphine is a controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and addiction. However, it is also recognized as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Template:Pain management Template:Controlled substances


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD