Morphine falls within the opiate class of drugs. Physicians prescribe it to control moderate to severe pain. Cancer patients in New York often receive this analgesic to help them cope with ongoing pain. Because it is a relatively powerful drug, side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness could occur and impact a person's ability to drive.
Reactions with other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies might also trigger side effects. Patients are cautioned to completely disclose what substances they are taking so that physicians can accurately warn them about drug interactions. Drugs like cimetidine, quinidine and rifampin could produce negative interactions.
The chance of experiencing severe side effects, like drowsiness or slow breathing, increase when a patient mixes morphine with other drugs associated with sleepiness. Alcohol, allergy or cough medicine, phenobarbital, muscle relaxers and anxiety medications are known to interact strongly with morphine, and a patient should consult a physician before taking them at the same time as morphine. Allergic reactions present another hazard to users of morphine. Inactive ingredients within the medicine could be responsible for an allergic reaction. A patient should discuss allergies with the physician or pharmacist prior to taking the pain medication.
If strong side effects strike a patient who is driving a car, a drunk driving charge could result. If a conviction results, the penalties could include steep fines, jail time and loss of driver's license. An attorney might be able to defend a person charged with intoxicated or impaired driving, especially if medication was taken according to a physician's directions. Documentation about a person's medical status could be presented by an attorney, who might negotiate for a reduced charge.