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Proof of concept: Epidural morphine 

Proof of concept: Epidural morphine
Proof of concept: Epidural morphine

Victoria Tidman

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date: 27 October 2021

The landmark paper discussed in this chapter is ‘Epidural morphine in treatment of pain’, published by Behar et al. in 1979. A small case series in the seventies first highlighted the use of epidural morphine for pain. It consists of only ten patients who were all administered 2 mg of morphine epidurally. Patients suffering from both acute and chronic pain had a significant reduction in the level of pain within 2–3 minutes, and this lasted 6–24 hours. The authors went on to postulate that morphine produced its effect by a direct action on the specific opioid receptors in the substantia gelatinosa. Although morphine is rarely used epidurally, this paper paved the way for the use of epidural opioids in many different pain conditions.

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