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10,654 Views 6 Replies Last post: Oct 25, 2010 5:01 PM by Modeofaction RSS
2 posts since
Oct 25, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 17, 2010 8:22 PM

Hallucinating on morphine

Hi everyone,


My father has bowel cancer with secondary cancer to the liver.  The bowel cancer has been removed and they are currently treating the liver cancer through resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  He has just had the first resection, and is on morphine via a drip - however he is quite confused on it, hallucinating and has conversations with people not there as well as "Recalling" thing that haven't happened, singing in his sleep, etc.


Obviously this is very upsetting and the nurses aren't able to give us any clarification.  Is this behaviours typical when on large doses of morphine or after an operation?

suzihorne 2 posts since
Oct 5, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
1. Oct 25, 2010 11:42 AM in response to: lessonsinlov
Re: Hallucinating on morphine

Hey, my mum had a similar effect with the IV Morphine after a whipple procedure. We were told it was because her liver was still recovering and the morphine was building up in her system. Not sure if it would be the same thing, But a few weeks on and she is mentally fine. Just try and hang in there, I understand its hard =] xx

Modeofaction 111 posts since
Oct 16, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
3. Oct 25, 2010 3:49 PM in response to: lessonsinlov
Re: Hallucinating on morphine


Most drugs you can take are metabolized by the liver, so if as in your dad’s case his liver is struggling it will also struggle with morphine.  Lots of people report hallucinations while on morphine, but he may be recommended to stick with it if the pain relief is worth it.  If, however, he was vomiting or showing other allergic reactions then he would be taken off it.

After my liver resection I had morphine, which I was fine with, and then high doses of codeine, a methylmorphine or alkaloid found in the opium poppy, which made me feel dreadfully spaced out and hung over.

Did he have an open liver resection or a laparoscopic resection?  I was out of hospital 5 days after a laparoscopic one but would have been in much longer if it had been open surgery.  I was taken off morphine after about 12 hours using a patient controlled PCA. 


harryeleri 1,220 posts since
Apr 28, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
4. Oct 25, 2010 3:55 PM in response to: lessonsinlov
Re: Hallucinating on morphine


Hi there ,



My husband had nightmares and hallucinations while on morphine.He was switched to pethadine and is always fine on that.



Good luck to your dad,i hope he responds well to his treatment.



Rose xxx



1,879 posts since
Dec 23, 2009
Currently Being Moderated
5. Oct 25, 2010 3:58 PM in response to: lessonsinlov
Re: Hallucinating on morphine

Hi there,


I was in hospital in Jan this year for a bowel resection and had such a weird reaction to morphine that I try and steer away from it...I would feel okay then have a nap and wake up after the weirdest of dreams - also it would take me about 30+ minutes to come back into know when you wake after a dream you are a bit disorientated, well the morphine just made it worst. I am fine now though although like your dad was told last week that the cancer is back in my liver...waiting on results of a PET scan so would appreciate any advice about the operation and the big an op is it? I have been on here for a while so know that everyone/ every case is different so will not focus too much on the individual parts however if there is any details you can share that would be appreciated.


Whatever I can do to assist you through this also I will try and do.


My story on the cancer research site and my blog links below, if you have  a few spare days have a read through


Colon Cancer


Much Love


Tony xx

Modeofaction 111 posts since
Oct 16, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
6. Oct 25, 2010 5:01 PM in response to: TonySong
Re: Hallucinating on morphine

Hi Tony

Have you been told if your liver resection is likely to be open surgery or laparoscopic?

If it's open you will have a horizontal incision across you upper abdomen below the rib cage.  Laparoscopic is 3 small incisions.  I had the latter as I only needed a small part of section 2 removing along with a 16mm tumour.  The liver has 8 sections and up to 3/4 of the liver can be removed the remainder growing back 4-8 weeks post op.  The operation lasts 4-5 hours.  It's slow because the liver bleeds.  They use lots of equipment to coagulate the blood.  I had primary liver cancer and resection offers good survival results.  For secondary liver cancer from a colorectal primary resection offers a good chance of beating the disease.  Patients are now alive 15-20 years after surgery which was unheard of before resections were an available technique.  Post op you will probably be in HDU.  You will have an NJ tube for feeding and for suction in case of a bile leak into the stomach.  Better to have it sucked out than vomit copious amounts of bile apparently.  The inevitable catheter.  I had a central line.  Also an epidural for pain relief is inserted pre-op when you are awake and can co-operate but not used til post op for pain relief.  I rejected the NJ tube with avengence so that came out in the recovery room and the epidural didnt work so I had a PCA drug pump with morphine and anti-sickness.  I had one drain from the incision where the tumour had been extracted.  My other incisions were by the belly button for the operating instruments to go in.  I was out of bed next day and off the morphine within 12 hours.  I had a lot of discomfort for about 3 days from the gas used to inflate my abdomen.  It gets trapped in your shoulder area and in your gut as wind and all you can do is take painkillers and drink peppermint tea!  I was eating and drinking after 12 hours.  If you have open surgery you may be fed by the NJ tube for 48 hours.  They planned to send me home after 3 days (aargh!) but I hadn't been assessed by the physios or been to the loo until day 4 so stayed in for 5.  If you have open surgery you will be in for around 8 days minimum.  I'm not allowed to lift or drive for 6 weeks.  I have had no pain at all from the liver area though I am still sore (4 weeks on) where the drain came out.


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