To assess the relative efficacy and incidence of side effects of a single injection versus a continuous infusion of epidural morphine sulfate (MS) in the postcesarean population, the authors report a prospective, randomized, double-blind study. Thirty-one patients received either a 5-mg MS bolus and subsequent saline infusion ( n = 13) or a 2.6-mg MS bolus and subsequent MS infusion at 0.1 mg/hour ( n = 18), such that after 24 hours both groups had received a total MS dose of 5 mg. No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups in overall satisfaction with analgesia, verbal pain scores, level of activity, need for supplemental opioids, or incidence of sedation during the 24-hour study period. The authors conclude that in this population, continuous epidural morphine infusion offers no obvious advantage over single morphine bolus therapy. However, the theoretical merits of continuous opioid infusion therapy are discussed.
- cesarean delivery
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