[Long-term treatment with intrathecal morphine in severe painful cancer].Ugeskr Laeger. 1989 Sep 11; 151(37):2365-6.UL
Intrathecal treatment with morphine was instituted in seven cancer patients with severe pain. All of the patients had already received treatment with epidural morphine and the reason for the change in treatment was insufficient effect, side effects and/or pain connected with the injections in the epidural form of therapy. The duration of treatment was 5-136 days (median 40 days). The daily intrathecal dosage of morphine which was administered by 1-4 daily injections was initially 2.4-16.0 mg (median 3.6 mg) and had to be increased to 3.2-112 mg (median 16 mg) at the conclusion of treatment. Five patients became free from pain and one had acceptable relief of pain on this treatment. One patient received accidentally too great a dose of morphine intrathecally as compared with the usual dose and required treatment for respiratory insufficiency. Apart from postural headache on account of leakage of cerebro-spinal fluid, which could be treated by epidural blood "patch", the method was without complications which could be attributed to the intrathecally placed catheter. Treatment of pain with opioids injected intrathecally may thus be recommended in the cases in which epidural treatment cannot be carried out on account of the reasons mentioned above.