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Kadian (Morphine Sulfate) - Drug Interactions, Contraindications, Overdosage, etc



KADIAN drug label information in our database does not contain a dedicated section on drug interactions. Please check subsections of WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS as well as other sources.



Acute overdosage with morphine is manifested by respiratory depression, somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, and, sometimes, pulmonary edema, bradycardia, hypotension and death.  Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen due to severe hypoxia in overdose situations.


Primary attention should be given to the re-establishment of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation. Gastric contents may need to be emptied to remove unabsorbed drug when an extended-release formulation such as KADIAN® has been taken.  Care should be taken to secure the airway before attempting treatment by gastric emptying or activated charcoal.

Supportive measures (including oxygen, vasopressors) should be employed in the management of circulatory shock and pulmonary edema accompanying overdose as indicated.  Cardiac arrest or arrhythmias may require cardiac massage or defibrillation.

The pure opioid antagonists, naloxone or nalmefene, are specific antidotes to respiratory depression which results from opioid overdose.  Since the duration of reversal would be expected to be less than the duration of action of KADIAN®, the patient must be carefully monitored until spontaneous respiration is reliably re-established.  KADIAN® will continue to release and add to the morphine load for up to 24 hours after administration and the management of an overdose should be monitored accordingly. If the response to opioid antagonists is suboptimal or not sustained, additional antagonist should be given as directed by the manufacturer of the product.

Opioid antagonists should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to morphine overdose.  Such agents should be administered cautiously to persons who are known, or suspected to be physically dependent on KADIAN®.  In such cases, an abrupt or complete reversal of opioid effects may precipitate an acute abstinence syndrome.

Opioid Tolerant Individuals: In an individual physically dependent on opioids, administration of the usual dose of the antagonist will precipitate an acute withdrawal.  The severity of the withdrawal produced will depend on the degree of physical dependence and the dose of the antagonist administered.  Use of an opioid antagonist should be reserved for cases where such treatment is clearly needed.  If it is necessary to treat serious respiratory depression in the physically dependent patient, administration of the antagonist should be begun with care and by titration with smaller than usual doses of the antagonist.


KADIAN® is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to morphine, morphine salts or any of the capsule components, or in any situation where opioids are contraindicated.  This includes in patients with respiratory depression (in the absence of resuscitative equipment or in unmonitored settings), and in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma or hypercarbia.

KADIAN® is contraindicated in any patient who has or is suspected of having paralytic ileus.

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