Indication for epidural morphine for the relief of intractable pain in advanced oral cancer: report of four cases.Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2000 Oct; 38(5):546-9.BJ
It can be difficult to manage the pain of advanced oral cancer. We present four patients in whom epidural morphine was used for intractable pain at primary or metastatic sites. For pain supplied by the trigeminal or cervical nerve a small dose of morphine was given through an epidural catheter inserted into the epidural space through C7-Th1. A favourable clinical response was achieved in three. In particular, in one patient who was given continuous morphine using a computerized ambulatory drug delivery system, we achieved excellent efficacy and stable control of pain. We think that the effect of the epidural morphine was decreased in the patient who did not respond because he had previously been treated with high oral doses. The present study confirmed that morphine given epidurally in small doses has a strong and prolonged analgesic action with less toxicity than when given orally.