Wednesday April 1st 2015

How long does morphine stay in the blood, urine, hair, or sweat?

How long does morphine stay in the blood, urine, hair, or sweat?

Have you been ordered a drug test for morphine levels?  Or perhaps you are ready to withdraw from morphine.  Here, we review how long morphine stays in the blood, urine, sweat, and hair. Then we invite your questions about drug testing for morphine, how morphine affects the brain or how to help morphine addiction at the end.

How do you take morphine?

Morphine is marketed under generic and brand names and is available in many prescription forms, such as an injection, orals solutions, immediate and sustained-release tablets and suppositories. Therefore, the traditional route of administration (injecting morphine intravenously) is now supported by oral, rectal and other routes.

Main morphine uses

Morphine is indicated for relief of severe pain. Morphine sulfate is actually the only opioid analgesic approved by the FDA that is available on the market in a dosage form. During surgery, morphine is used in conjunction with other agents, supporting the so called “balanced” anesthesia. It is often recommended for pain due to acute myocardial infraction. Morphine is even indicated in some cases for the treatment of diarrhea, when not caused by toxic materials.

Peak levels and half life of morphine

Depending on the route of administration, morphine has different time ranges of effectiveness and presence in the body. In general, morphine has a short half-life of 1.5 – 7 hours. Following a morphine sulfate injection, morphine reaches the peak after 20 minutes with a half-life of 1.5 hours. Following epidural administration of the smallest dose of extended-release morphine, the opiate has a half-life of 16.2 hours. In contrast, after oral ingestion, morphine reaches peak levels after about 30 minutes and has a half life of about 2-4 hours.

Morphine drug testing: How long does morphine stay in the body?

Morphine may remain in the body for up to 4 days. Almost the whole amount of morphine leaves the body during the first day, through excretion. However, there are traces still present in the feces and the urine for several days.

There are also several factors which can influence the metabolic rate of processing morphine. A patient’s altered metabolism can result in the morphine leaving the body too fast, which will result with not reaching the therapeutic target. It can also result in the opposite direction, with staying in the body for too long and causing toxic effects. A person’s metabolism is totally individual and should go under series of tests and analysis in order to predict the morphine length of stay in the body.

How long does morphine stay in blood?

It is good to know that blood testing provides information about the accurate presence of drugs at the moment of taking the sample, often practiced in drug testing on workplace. A blood testing “time window” for morphine is about 12 hours. The peak level of morphine concentrated in the plasma appears within an hour of oral administration and 5 minutes following an IV injection.

How long does morphine stay in hair?

Morphine stays in hair for weeks or months after use. A single strand of human hair can provide information about the drug-use history going back as far as 90 days, but does not provide any evidence on current impairment.

How long does morphine stay in urine?

Urine excretion is the main route that morphine takes to leave the body and takes place during the first 24 hours within the last taken dose. Interestingly, a really small amount of the dose finds it’s way out with the urine, being totally unchanged! Often the concentration of that amount may indicate a chronic use of the drug. Nonetheless, test results show positive on morphine even after 2 to 3 days after prolonged use.

How long does morphine stay in saliva or sweat?

Drugs do not stay in oral fluids as long as in urine. Only small traces of morphine appear in the sweat or in a mother’s breast milk up to 4 days after injection.

Morphine and addiction

What should you do if you think you’re addicted to morphine? First, you should never stop taking morphine, or any other opioid, without consulting your doctor, because you could experience sudden withdrawal effects. However, physical dependence on morphine is not the same as drug addiction. The risk of becoming addicted to morphine is higher if you’ve previously been addicted to other drugs or alcohol, or you have a history of mental problems. So if you think that you may be at risk of addiction, seek help with your primary physician, a drug counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist for evaluation.

Problems with morphine?

In case you have been taking morphine for too long, you can develop a certain level of morphine tolerance. If you are experiencing breathing problems, nausea and diarrhea, then you’re going through some of the most common side effects of the use of morphine. In such cases it is best to contact a doctor.

Morphine system questions

Still have questions about the metabolism of morphine? Please leave your questions in the comments section below. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: Daily Med: Morphine sulfate tablets
NHTSA: Morphine
MedLine Plus: Morphine Oral
FDA: Drug Safety Morphine
eLaws – Employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses, Drug-Free Workplace Advisor 
NCBI; Biochemical basis of sex differences in drug metabolism

Photo credit: Martz90

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26 Responses to “How long does morphine stay in the blood, urine, hair, or sweat?
1:01 pm February 4th, 2014

I take 30 mg morphine sulfate ER. i want to donate plasma today. Can I donate or will I be turned down because of the morphine

11:31 am February 5th, 2014

Hello Valerie. Thanks for your question. No, I don’t think that you can donate blood or plasma when you are taking opiates like morphine. Once, they refused my blood because I was on antibiotics. But you can always call your local blood bank or medical clinic for confirmation and to avoid an unnecessary trip.

2:58 am June 13th, 2014

Can I fail a drug test for morphine if its been 4 or 5 days after the last time I taken it ?

5:10 am June 13th, 2014

Hello MK. It will usually depend on your use history. Are you a one time or regular morphine user? Heavy, chronic morphine use can be detected for longer times in the body than occasional use. You can try an at home drug detection test to get a better feel for how your testing might go.

5:22 pm June 13th, 2014

If u have to take a drug urine screen and have been takeing morphine, will drinking 2 gallons of water right before u go, will u pass? And is there any home remedys u can do to make u pass with no problem?

3:25 pm June 27th, 2014

I have been on 7 day patches but took a skin reaction had to take it off. How long does it stay in the system so I can take other pain killers I have MS so need some sort of pain relieve

8:33 am June 30th, 2014

Hello Abbs. It all depends on how long were you wearing the patch. Normally, the effects of this medicine can last up to 30 hour after removing it from the skin, and this includes the side effects, too. It is not advised by doctors to be started on a different medicine, especially not on another opioid painkiller for at least another 24 hours. However, this can vary depending on your body and system, and is an individual matter. So, it’s best to consult a medical professional.

7:42 pm July 30th, 2014

Can morphine stay in your system for 30 days depending on your metabolism?

1:24 am August 5th, 2014

My family has a problem with my morphine usage. I have been prescribed by my PCP for multiple, inoperable back problems. I am 100% disabled and although I did spend the last week or so weaning myself off the drug, I am back to my initial condition of being flat on my back unable to do anything. So, I am faced with finding an alternative way or back on Tue morphine. To be clear, I had been prescribed 60mg ER morphine 3x a day, with a prescription for oxycodone 15mg immediate release, 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours. I rarely took three morphine per day and never went beyond four tablets of the oxycodone per day. My question is if I have been on this med for so long without increasing my dosages, does this mean I will invariably become more and more tolerant to the effects of all opioids? Last, how do I explain to my brothers and whoever else buys their unprofessional opinions that I am an addict and in a bad way?

1:14 am August 8th, 2014

Hello, my ex has had a really bad drug addiction for many yrs. I finally had enough about 6 Mts ago and now he is only allowed to see his son at supervised visits as long as he passes a drug test that same day. He has been addicted to hydrocodone, Vicodin, xanas, pretty much anything he can get his hands on. We are soposto go to court next week regarding custody of our son. He has still been taking the drugs but yet passing the drug tests for the visits, I found out that today he got some morphine. My question is how can I prove that he is still using and addicted to drugs? And what is the best form of testing that I should request the court to do to prove it? Also the visits are every 2 weeks and he has to take the drug test test same day as the visit, so how is he passing the tests even tho he is still using. I wan t my child to be safe, and he definitely isn’t around him. Please help?

9:25 am August 8th, 2014

Hi T. He might be gaming the system by using for the week before the visit, and stopping 2-4 days before he sees your son.

Ask the court if you can get a hair follicle test ordered; this shows past 90 days in an average sample. If he shaves his head, ask for an armpit hair.

8:56 am August 18th, 2014

I did a stupid thing my normal pain meds went missing after a family gathering . Here’s the stupid part a friend gave me a few morphine. Not my normal Meg’s. I aborted 2 15mg

9:39 am August 31st, 2014

I have taken 1 oxycodone30mg every day for the past 3 weeks and 4 morphine 60mg the past two days I have to take a urin test in 11 days will it be outta my system if I stop taking them today and drink plenty of water? ? Please help me

Tonya lewis
9:57 pm September 6th, 2014

Went to the er and they gave me a shot of morphine…My probation gave me a drug test three hour later will I pass it

2:05 am September 22nd, 2014

I wanna take 15mg of morphine before iud insertion as I am nulliporous and the three procedure would be intolerable without. How long before insertion should I take it and is it recommended with food or not?

9:59 am October 17th, 2014

I have been on a morphine patch for two and a half months. I had to come off it due to very bad side effects. I was on a 15mg dose. I want to know how long it takes to leave your body, as I have still the effects. I am off it now 5 days.

7:19 am November 7th, 2014

I took 1 100mg morphine pill after bein clean for over a year and have high metabolism. How long will it stay in urine for drug test

5:15 am December 7th, 2014

I was fired from a pain clinic after receiving 1 negative for the opiods I was prescribed. But I had taken a 60 mg that morning like every morning, I took it about 8:00 a.m. & was tested about 4:00. I couldn’t believe it came up negative when I was taking my medication as prescribed. I wasn’t doing anything wrong but got fired anyway. Every month my urine tests came out positive for opiods. I keep explaining to pain doctors and other doctors that morphine wouldn’t show in my blood that many hours later. It says <50 ng/mL LOW. Do you know what that means? I was taking 2 60mg Morphine a day so I was so shocked to be fired. This is so unfair. I still haven't found a pain clinic that will take me & was even accused by 1 pain doctor that I am a drug dealer!!!!! I was so insulted!!!! I've been on painkillers since 2007 & have never sold 1 pill !!!!! Yet he judged me because of a blood test.
Thanks for your help.

9:10 am December 17th, 2014

I took a 60 mg morphine tablet Wednesday night because I had a horrible headache. Now I have to take a urine drug test Thursday, will that still be in my system. I don’t take it on a regular basis at all.

4:18 pm December 21st, 2014

I was talking EXALGO for severe arthritis pain. Then drug stores were not allowing it to be dispensed any longer, so my doctor gave me a script for morphine. But it did not give me any pain relief at all. I took it for about only a week. Then got a script again for Exalgo finally. ( not filled yet) Changing those two drugs did something to my mind. I had/have memory lapses, bad jugjment, brain fog, etc. I was caught shop lifting. I had never done this before. I felt I did not know or remember what I was doing. I was caught BT a security officer & went to jail. Can brain/mind problems occur when taking these type drugs? I am 71 years old, have no record whatsoever,

S. V. Beach
4:03 am January 4th, 2015

Due to extensive back, neck, shoulder, knee of OA, I’ve been seeing a pain management outfit for over 4 years. This summer I had a gastric sleeve operation, and while in the hospital, and also at home, I was having constant amounts of morphine. Long story short, pain management did a urine test (nothing that hadn’t been going on over the 4+ years) I flunked the urine test, and when the horrible office manager called to question the morphine usage, I was totally honest, and told her I had taken a few morphine tabs of my husbands, so they won’t give me any pain medicines. What to do now?

12:45 am January 8th, 2015

I took morphone sulfate , prescribed for my back for a year, I stopped taking it by doctor advice, how long before it all clears the body?

5:27 pm January 15th, 2015

Hi Mike. Actually, morphine after it is administered and reaches the bloodstream, the liver breaks down a large proportion of morphine. It this process called “fist-pass metabolism” only about 40-50% reach the CNS. Then, around 90% of morphine is excreted from the body within 24 hours, mostly in the form of urine. So, within a few days, your body is free of morphine.

7:17 pm January 30th, 2015

I took some liquid moraphine about november15,20014 never taken before and never taken after I go for a hair folicale test on Monday feb.2,2015 will it show positive

9:18 am February 20th, 2015

How long is morphine sulfate tablets detectable in an oral swab drug test?

7:24 pm March 8th, 2015

i have a friend :) and hes on methodone and occasionaly takes heroin. when he has had some heroin (say on a saturday evening) he will then not use, and then on the thursday he will be urine tested ! the dip test says opiates negative but then when the urine sample is sent too the labit comes back morphine positive!! he understand whybut would like to know how long it takes to be fully out of the system

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