More than 200 years after it was isolated from poppies, morphine remains one of medicine’s best painkillers. But that isn’t its only use.
Physicians sometimes include the drug in a cocktail of medications given to people having heart attacks. It can relieve the breathlessness of pulmonary edema. It decreases diarrhea. A famous physician of the early 20th century, William Osler, once called morphine “God’s own medicine.”
Research published this week suggests that the compound might have at least one more use.
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