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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000177

AU - Zenz M

AU - Piepenbrock S

AU - Tryba M

TI - Epidural opiates: long-term experiences in cancer pain

AB - Epidural opiates were administered to 139 patients with pain due to malignant diseases via a chronic

indwelling catheter inserted percutaneously. So far, 9,716 days of treatment can be evaluated. In 87% of the

patients whose pain previously could not be controlled with conventional analgesic approaches, epidural

opiates resulted in remarkable pain relief. With a mean daily dose of 15.6 mg morphine (range 2-290 mg) or

0.86 mg buprenorphine (range 0.15-7.2 mg) half of the patients could be treated as outpatients. The mean

duration of therapy was 72 days (range 1-700 days), 26 catheters being in place for more than 100 days and

one catheter being in place for 510 days. Two severe side-effects (meningitis) were observed, both patients

being free of symptoms after catheter removal and antibiotic therapy. Epidural opiates proved to be a

valuable method of pain control in terminal illness. The method should be reserved for those patients, for

whom oral opiates fail to produce effective pain relief

SO - Klinische Wochenschrift 1985;63:225-229