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: a powerful drug made from opium that is used to reduce pain
Full Definition of MORPHINE
: a bitter crystalline addictive narcotic base C17H19NO3 that is the principal alkaloid of opium and is used in the form of a soluble salt (as a hydrochloride or a sulfate) as an analgesic and sedative
: a bitter crystalline addictive narcotic base C17H19NO3 that is the principal alkaloid of opium and is used in the form of its hydrated sulfate (C17H19NO3)2·H2SO4·5H2O or hydrated hydrochloride C17H19NO3·HCl·3H2O as an analgesic and sedative
Biographical Note for MORPHINE
Mor·pheus,\ˈmȯr-fē-əs, -ˌf(y)üs\ Greek mythological character. Morpheus was one of the sons of Hypnos, the god of sleep. As a dream-god Morpheus made human shapes appear to dreamers. His two brothers were responsible for sending forms of animals and inanimate things.
Heterocyclic compound, narcoticanalgesicalkaloid originally isolated from opium. It is among the most powerful naturally occurring compounds in its ability to reduce pain and distress; its calming effect protects the system against exhaustion in traumatic shock, internal hemorrhage, congestive heart failure, and other debilitating conditions. Morphine is usually given by injection but may be taken by mouth. Its most serious drawback is its addictiveness; many doctors are reluctant to use amounts adequate to relieve severe pain, even though short-term use in such cases rarely leads to drug addiction. This remains controversial even in terminal cases, when addiction is arguably irrelevant; another issue in such cases is that large doses depress respiration and may thus hasten death.