The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Covidien’s Mallinckrodt business for morphine sulfate oral solution as a treatment for moderate to severe acute and chronic pain in opioid-tolerant patients.

Morphine sulfate is an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance.

The solution will be available as a generic in 100mg per 5mL (20mg per 1mL).

Covidien Pharmaceuticals CFO and interim president Matthew Harbaugh said the FDA approval represents a key step forward in palliative care treatment.