Compare Morphine Sulfate vs. fentanyl

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

ADVERTISEMENT

Duragesic (fentanyl)

Prescription only
Treats severe pain.

Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) provides good long-term pain control without the need to take medicine frequently, but watch out for constipation.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 541 reviewsforMorphine Sulfate
Treats severe pain.

Duragesic (fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 84 reviewsforfentanyl
Upsides
  • Provides longer relieve for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Might have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
  • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
  • The Duragesic (fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
Downsides
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) if you need.
  • Long term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after use longer than 2 weeks.
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • The patch doesn't provide quick pain relief.
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If taking long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Shouldn't be used by people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or are elderly.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Patch
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
541 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
20%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)?

Leave a review
84 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
70%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
34possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    34%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Dizziness
    17%
  • Drowsiness
    17%
  • Headache
    16%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Itchy skin
    13%
  • Weakness
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Swelling in the limbs
    5%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Difficulty breathing
    4%
  • Upper abdominal pain
    4%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Hypersensitivity
    3%
  • Urinary retention
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    2%
  • Abnormal gait
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Burning/pricking sensation
    2%
  • Confusional state
    2%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Hallucination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)
    • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Higher dose
    • People with not enough thyroid hormones
    • History of lung problems
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal (Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome)
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Slowed breathing (respiratory depression)
    • Taking other medicines that interact with Duragesic (fentanyl)
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Taking benzodiazepines, other opioids, and/or alcohol
    • Asthma or COPD
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal
    • Long-term use of Duragesic (fentanyl) during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Medication errors
See more detailed risks and warnings