Opioid analgesics


1st choice
For acute management of severe pain before hospital admission


Morphine immediate release tablets 10mg, 20mg 50mg; oral solution 10mg/5ml; 100mg/5ml; modified-release tablets, capsules; injection (see BNF)

Morphine – see BNF for dosage. Morphine preparations should be prescribed by brand name

Prescribing Notes

  • Morphine should be given parenterally when possible for acute severe pain. The first dose of intravenous morphine should be given slowly, titrated to effect, and respiratory rate monitored. For use of naloxone, see BNF
  • Patients may be discharged following surgery on strong opioid analgesics. Treatment should be for short duration and patients should be reviewed before further medication is prescribed by primary care. Where necessary secondary care specialist(s) should be contacted about the treatment plan or patient’s reported pain