Morphine. C34H19NO6. An alkaloid contained in Opium, in which it exists in combination with Meconic and Sulphuric Acids. It is the chief narcotic principle in Opium. It is soluble in Alcohol and solutions of the caustic fixed alkalies, but almost insoluble in Ether and Water. It has about four times the strength of good Opium, of which it forms about 10 per cent. (Garrod.*)

MorphiAe Acetas. Acetate of Morphia (C34H19NO6, C4H3O3 + HO). Soluble in Water and Alcohol. Not officinal in the Brit. Pharm.

* Ess. of Mat. Med. and Therap., p. 161.

MorphiAe Hydrochloras. Hydrochlorate of Morphia (C34H19NO6, HC1 + 6 HO). Soluble in Spirit and in 20 parts of Water. Officinal in the Brit. Pharm.

MorphiAe Sulphas. Sulphate of Morphia (C34H19NO6, SO3 + 6 HO). Readily soluble in Water. Not officinal in the British Pharmacopoeia.

Med. Prop. and Action. Morphia and its salts are powerfully narcotic. On account of their greater solubility, the salts of Morphia are generally employed as therapeutic agents. Their advantages over Opium are, that they produce a smaller degree of vascular and arterial excitement, less headache and vertigo, less subsequent depression, less constipation, and a more quiet and refreshing sleep, undisturbed by dreams. At the same time, they cannot be substituted in all, nor indeed in the majority of cases, for Opium; but are chiefly applicable to relieve nervous initability, and to induce tranquillity of the system. "Either of these salts," observes Dr. A. T. Thompson, "when administered in doses of a quarter of a grain, repeated at short intervals, causes a sensatiou of fulness in the head, some obscurity of sight, tingling of the ears, cephalalgia, vertigo, and a tendency to sighing and sleep. The pupils are sometimes dilated, at other times contracted, and occasionally they are not at all affected. The pulse is not much accelerated. Occasionally there is a sensation of itching all over the skin, frequently nausea, and a difficulty of passing urine. In large doses, the cerebral excitement is alarming.'' From some observations of M. Bailly, it appears that full doses of the Acetate of Morphia sometimes excited shocks like those of electricity; when the patient was lying in the horizontal position, the muscles lost much of their contractility, and the sight was greatly impaired. As in these cases the pulse was diminished in force and frequency, Bailly was led to infer that Morphia acts as a sedative on the heart, and as a stimulant on the nervous system. It would perhaps have been nearer the truth, to say that it acts as a stimulant on the nerves of sensation, and as a sedative on those of motion. It seldom increases the temperature, although sometimes its salts greatly augment the exhalant. function of the skin. In over-doses, whilst the upper part of the body is bathed in a viscid sweat, the lower extremities are cold; there are violent tremors, the body acquires a livid hue, the face assumes a pinched, cadaverous aspect, and death ensues without convulsions (Thompson).* Its full physiological effects may be speedily induced if it be introduced into the system by the hypodermic method. See also Opium.

Offic. Prep. Of the Hydrochlorate of Morphia: - 1. Liquor Morphia Hydro-chlomtis (Hydrochlorate of Morphia grs. iv.; Dilute Hydrochloric Acid eviij.; Rectified Spirit fl. drs. ij.; Distilled Water fl. drs, vj.). Dose, exv. - fl. drm. j. upwards. Half a grain of Hydrochlorate of Morphia is contained in each fl. drm. It is half the strength of Liq. Morph. Hydrochloratis (Pharm. Lond.).