How Long Does Morphine Stay in The System?

Last Updated: December 18, 2019

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

How Long Does Morphine Stay in The System?

Morphine is the most common form of analgesic opiate present in opium. The drug is a potent pain reliever. However, many people use it for recreational purposes. It is highly addictive, and its physical dependency can lead to substance abuse. Health professionals often use Morphine for pain management in terminal cancer patients. The street names for this drug include First Line, Mister Blue, God’s Drug, Morpho, Unkie, MS, Dreamer, and Morph. Once a person ingests the drug, it readily enters the blood stream and moves to the brain, hence activating the opioid receptors for exerting the medication’s effects.
Morphine has different time ranges for effectiveness and presence in the human body. Generally, the drug has a short half-life of 1.5 to 7 hours and exits the body pretty quickly, but certain factors can impact the time Morphine stays in the body.

Dose of the Drug

Morphine is available in different varieties. One can find it in the purest form i.e. Morphine itself, as well as other modified forms like Roxanol, MSContin, Avinza, Dover’s Power, Laudanum, etc. Many ask “If I take a smaller dosage, how long does morphine stay in my system, then? The dosage can dictate how long Morphin stays in a system i.e. the higher the dosage, the longer it will stay in body system and vice versa.

Type of Screening Test

Not all screening tests provide the same results. Some tests can detect Morphine in the body for up to 3 months while others only detect for a few hours.

Physiological Factors

Physical factors influence how fast a body will excrete Morphine out of its system. For example:

  • Metabolism Rate: A body having a fast metabolism will discharge the drug faster.
  • Age: As we age, our metabolism rate slows down. Therefore, younger adults excrete Morphine faster than older ones.
  • Body Size: Morphine stays for a longer period in a body that has more fat. That’s because the body mass slows down the metabolism rate.
  • The frequency of Drug Intake: It will be easier to detect the remains of a drug in a frequent user’s system for a longer span.

What the short answer to “How long does Morphine stay in one’s system?” is that it can have its effects for two to seven hours. However, as each human being has a different anatomy, the results may differ. Also, the detection window can be different depending on the type of the drug test.

How Long Can Morphine Be Detected in Urine, Blood, Hair, And Saliva?

How Long Does Morphine Stay in Urine?

If a person is a smoker, the detection time of Morphine in urine can be for 1 to 2 days. If the individual’s metabolism rate is low, it may stay for three days. On the other hand, if one is a frequent user, the detection time can be 5 to 6 days.

How Long Does Morphine Stay in Blood?

Morphine has the shortest detection window in a blood test. It is important to take the blood sample at the spot because of the half-life effect of the drug. Usually, Morphine can be detected for 12 hours in the blood after ingestion.

How Long Does Morphine Stay in Hair?

morphine stayMorphine has the longest detection window in a hair test. It can last for 80 to 90 days. As the effects of the drug appear on the scalp after 5 to 10 days of consumption, therefore, the hair samples are taken after 5 to 10 days of drug ingestion. This drug test is quite costly, and the testing procedure itself is complicated. Therefore, health professionals or court officials will not use this test for detecting Morphine in the body. Scientists may use this test, but for research only.

How Long Does Morphine Stay in Saliva?

A saliva test can only detect Morphine remains within the first 5 hours of the last dose. The saliva test is also very uncommon because of its short detection window.

When Does Morphine Start Acting?

The time it takes for Morphine to work depends on the dose and the form of Morphine ingested.

  • If a user takes the drug intravascular, the drug can start working immediately and reaches its peak within 2 to 3 minutes.
  • If a user takes it intramuscular, it can start working within 15 minutes after administration and can reach its peak after 45 minutes.
  • If a user consumes it in oral form, it can start working in 15 to 20 minutes after administration and may reach its peak after 45 minutes.
  • If a user takes it in sustained form for around the clock care, it can start working in 30 to 45 minutes after administration and reaches its peak in 60 to 90 minutes.

How To Excrete Morphine Out of The System Fast?

Note that the only way to be clear of any drug is to stop the consumption. If one wishes to push Morphine and its remains out of the system fast, the following can help:

  • Hydrate: Drinking lots of water is the key. It will flush out Morphine and its contents from the body quickly.
  • Urinate: The first urine of the day will have a larger quantity of Morphine remains. Drinks that initiate urination can help expedite the flushing of Morphine out of the body. Such drinks include cranberry juice, coffee, and tea.
  • Exercise: We all know that those who have a fast metabolism excrete the remains of most of the drugs faster. So, boosting up the function of the body with exercise can help eliminate the traces of Morphine faster.

However, the only effective way that can remove Morphine from the body is to stop consumption of the medication. The more Morphine one consumes, the longer it will stay in the body.
Morphine depresses the respiratory system and slows down the heart rate. If dangerous interactions happen, it can lead to coma. Don’t drink alcohol or use any medication containing alcohol when taking Morphine. If a person has a history of respiratory troubles, they shall avoid Morphine in the first place.

Page Sources

  1. Astrid W. Oosten, João A. Abrantes, Siv Jönsson, Maja Matic, Ron H. N. van Schaik, Peter de Bruijn, Carin C. D. van der Rijt, Ron H. J. Mathijssen. A Prospective Population Pharmacokinetic Study on Morphine Metabolism in Cancer Patients. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2017; 56(7): 733–746.
  2. Gian Maria Pacifici. Metabolism and pharmacokinetics of morphine in neonates: A review. Clinics (Sao Paulo) 2016 Aug; 71(8): 474–480.

Published on: June 5th, 2017

Updated on: December 18th, 2019

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


Leave a comment

  • Suzy
    I took a drug screen and it said I was positive for morphine. I don’t take any drug that is not prescribed to me and morphine is not prescribed to me. How could this happen? The samples had to be mixed up or something. I take Opana for my pain. Please help me understand.
  • Crystal
    It’s called a false positive. I was kicked out of pain management because of this. I filed a grievance against the doctor, and it was investigated and I was found innocent and I was put back on pain management you need to file a grievance because Labs make mistakes good luck.