Rapid titration with intravenous morphine for severe cancer pain and immediate oral conversion

Alessandra Casuccio, Fabio Fulfaro, Sebastiano Mercadante, Fabio Fulfaro, Patrizia Villari, Patrizia Ferrera

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

64 Citazioni (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. Cancer pain emergencies presenting with severe excruciating pain require a rapid application of powerful analgesic strategies. The aim of the current study was to evaluate a method of rapid titration with intravenous morphine to achieve relief of cancer pain of severe intensity. METHODS. Forty-nine consecutive patients admitted to a Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit for severe and prolonged pain were enrolled in the study. Pain was evaluated on a numeric scale of 0-10 (0 indicated no pain and 10 indicated excruciating pain). After the initial assessment (T0), an intravenous line was inserted and boluses of morphine (2 mg every 2 minutes) were given until the initial signs of significant analgesia were detected or severe adverse effects occurred (T1). A continuous reassessment was warranted and the effective total dose administrated intravenously was assumed to last approximately 4 hours and was calculated for 24 hours. The dose immediately was converted to oral morphine (a 1:3 ratio for low doses and a 1:2 ratio for high doses). RESULTS. Data from 45 patients was analyzed. A significant decrease in pain intensity was achieved in a mean of 9.7 minutes (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 7.4-12.1 minutes), using a mean dose of intravenous morphine of 8.5 mg (95% CI, 6.5-10.5 mg). The doses administered rapidly were converted to oral morphine and pain control was mantained until the patient's discharge, which occurred in a mean of 4.6 days (95% CI, 4.1-5.2 days). The incidence of adverse effects was minimal. CONCLUSIONS. The results of the current study demonstrate that cancer pain emergencies can be treated rapidly in the majority of cancer patients with an acceptable level of adverse effects. Intravenous administration of morphine requires initial close supervision and continuity of medical and nursing care. © 2002 American Cancer Society.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)203-208
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1300.1306???


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