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Opioids Morphine & Chitosan for better intranasal absorption


Apr 4, 2021
"Morphine administered nasally to humans as a simple solution is only absorbed to a limited degree, with a bioavailability of the order of 10% compared with intravenous administration. This article describes the development of novel nasal morphine formulations based on chitosan, which, in the sheep model, provide a highly increased absorption with a 5- to 6-fold increase in bioavailability over simple morphine solutions. The chitosan-morphine nasal formulations have been tested in healthy volunteers in comparison with a slow i.v. infusion (over 30 min) of morphine. The results show that the nasal formulation was rapidly absorbed with a Tmax of 15 min or less and a bioavailability of nearly 60%. The shape of the plasma profile for nasal delivery of the chitosan-morphine formulation was similar to the one obtained for the slow i.v. administration of morphine. Furthermore, the metabolite profile obtained after the nasal administration of the chitosan-morphine nasal formulation was essentially identical to the one obtained for morphine administered by the intravenous route. The levels of both morphine-6-glucuronide and morphine-3-glucuronide were only about 25% of that found after oral administration of morphine. It is concluded that a properly designed nasal morphine formulation (such as one with chitosan) can result in a noninjectable opioid product capable of offering patients rapid and efficient pain relief."

So there's a way to get more out of morphine - the paper is here in fulltext. They did both just mix some chitosan into a nasal spray along with morphine, as well as used some fancy nanoparticle technology in another attempt - guess this is out of question for layman's use but seemingly the first variant also significantly increased morphine's bioavailability.

Anybody better knowledged able to explain a bit if this works and is an option for at-home use? Or even experiences to report?

I'll get some chitosan and try but it'll take a while and if it's inactive I could save the money ...
Much appreciated!


Mar 20, 2021
Sounds interesting! Do you think Chitosan might increase intranasal absorption of other substances too? Or is this specific to Morphine? (not only asking you @plumbus-nine but if you have an idea I'd love to hear it too ofcourse!)