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Diamorphine (Diamorphine 5mg powder for solution for injection ampoules)



Information specific to: Diamorphine 5mg powder for solution for injection ampoules when used in Pain.

Diamorphine (Dye-a-more-feen hi-droh-clor-ride) is a medicine which is used in pain relief and treating dyspnoea caused by pulmonary oedema.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Diamorphine varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

Your medicine

Diamorphine hydrochloride affects chemicals in the nervous system which are involved in the sensation of pain. Diamorphine hydrochloride works quickly and is used to relieve severe pain associated with surgical procedures, heart attacks and terminal illness. Diamorphine hydrochloride may also be given to relieve certain types of breathing problems.

Other information about Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • your doctor may start you on a low dose of this medicine and then increase the dose depending on how you respond to treatment

Diamorphine hydrochloride is usually given to you by a healthcare professional. The person responsible for giving you your medicine will make sure that you get the right dose.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber or someone involved in your medical care.

Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Diamorphine hydrochloride is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

  • are allergic or sensitive to or have had a bad reaction to morphine
  • are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine
  • are an alcoholic
  • are debilitated
  • are elderly
  • are in a coma
  • are in shock
  • are misusing or have misused drugs in the past
  • are obese
  • are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor in the last two weeks
  • have a convulsive disorder
  • have adrenal gland problems
  • have asthma or are having an asthma attack
  • have biliary problems
  • have bowel problems
  • have central nervous system depression
  • have certain types of breathing problems
  • have certain types of heart problems
  • have head injuries
  • have high intracranial pressure
  • have kidney problems
  • have liver problems
  • have low blood pressure
  • have obstructive airways disease
  • have paralytic ileus
  • have phaeochromocytoma
  • have problems with your spine
  • have prostate problems
  • have pseudomembranous colitis or diarrhoea caused by poisoning
  • have psychosis
  • have respiratory depression
  • have thyroid problems
  • have urinary problems

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child.

Over time it is possible that Diamorphine hydrochloride can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Diamorphine hydrochloride has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.


Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • alcohol may increase the effects of this medicine

You should seek advice from your prescriber as to whether you may drink alcohol while taking this medicine.


Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when having Diamorphine hydrochloride

Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

In the case of Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • this medicine could affect your ability to drive or operate machinery

You should see how this medicine affects you before you judge whether you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt about whether you should drive or operate machinery, talk to your prescriber.

Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • if you have this medicine during labour, your baby may need to have some monitoring after birth

You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to weigh up the overall risks and benefits of taking this medicine. You and your doctor can make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy.

If the decision is that you should not have Diamorphine hydrochloride, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.


Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • women who are having Diamorphine hydrochloride should not breast-feed

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.

Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • atropine
  • cimetidine
  • domperidone
  • kaolin
  • loperamide
  • metoclopramide
  • mexiletine
  • ritonavir

The following types of medicine may interact with Diamorphine hydrochloride:

  • antiarrhythmics
  • antidepressants
  • antidiarrhoeal medicines
  • antimuscarinics
  • antiperistaltic agents
  • antipsychotics
  • antivirals
  • anxiolytics
  • hypnotics
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • motility stimulants

If you are taking Diamorphine hydrochloride and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Diamorphine hydrochloride.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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