Morphine is a widely used drug for analgesia and substance abuse. It has been accepted as a safe medication with great analgesic efficacy. Previous studies have reported that morphine is highly associated with the risk of immunosuppressive effects. Although the observed clinical effects suggest that morphine has the immunomodulatory capabilities, the mechanism of its action is still unclear. Here we review morphine on the bench to improve our understanding of the drug on the host immunity at the bedside. Studies of the effects of morphine on the innate and adaptive immune systems as well as immune responses are also discussed.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.