(taken from the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus, for obvious reasons) was the first active alkaloid extracted from the opium poppy plant when it was discovered in Paderborn, Germany, by a German pharmacist, Friedrich Sertürner in 1804 and has now been around for more than 200 years. It was. first marketed as a drug to the general public by Sertürner and Company in 1817 as an analgesic, and also as a treatment for opium and alcohol addiction. Commercial production began in Darmstadt, Germany in 1827 by the pharmacy that was later to become the pharmaceutical company Merck, with morphine being one of their major products in the early part of their growth. It became more popular later, in 1857 due to the invention of the hypodermic needle.

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