Dextroamphetamine with morphine: Respiratory effects

D. L. Bourke, P. D. Allen, M. Rosenberg, R. W. Mendes, A. N. Karabelas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The combination of dextroamphetamine and morphine has been shown to be synergistic for analgesia and antagonistic for most other effects. However, the claim that dextroamphetamine antagonizes the respiratory depression caused by morphine has not been well sustained. In this double-blind study, we investigated respiratory effects, including resting respiration, isohypercapnic ventilation, CO 2 response, dose response, and duration of these effects with dextroamphetamine alone and in combination with morphine. Dextroamphetamine alone (0.215 mg/kg) caused increases in minute ventilation and a leftward shift of the CO 2 response curve that lasted for less than 2 hours. Dextroamphetamine combined with low-dose morphine (0.15 mg/kg) antagonized respiratory depression throughout the 5-hour observation period. Dextroamphetamine combined with high-dose morphine (0.30 mg/kg) was unable to completely antagonize depressed ventilation, and some residual effects of morphine persisted at 2 hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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