MS Contin is a brand name for a time-released tablet of morphine used to treat severe pain. Made from opium, MS Contin is a Schedule 2 drug, meaning the federal government classifies it as highly addictive and legal to use by doctor’s prescription only. Even doctors find it tricky to prescribe for three reasons. First, people who have never taken morphine before can experience fatal allergic reactions the first time they use it. Second, it is easy to overdose on morphine, and finally, it is highly addictive.
For these reasons, doctors usually try less potent medications before prescribing MS Contin. When they do prescribe it, they start with a very low dose and work up to higher levels once they know that their patient can tolerate the drug. Sometimes a patient may have been taking a oral dose of morphine every 4-6 hours, and the doctor will replace this with time-released MS Contin, which lasts 8-12 hours.
MS Contin is not used for pain after surgery unless the patient was already taking morphine before the operation.
MS Contin interacts with alcohol and other narcotics, and creates an increased risk of overdose. Overdoses of this drug are often fatal. Symptoms can be confusion, cold and clammy skin, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting and stopping breathing.
It is easy to become physically addicted to MS Contin, and when you stop using it you will experience a withdrawal syndrome similar to that of heroin and other narcotics. Symptoms may be restlessness, irritability, runny nose, muscle pain, sweats, chills, cramps, insomnia, nausea, goose bumps, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea and increases in blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. Usually, you will need to taper off using it under medical supervision.