Intrathecal Narcotics for Relief of Pain From Head and Neck Cancer

Peter E. Andersen, James I. Cohen, Edwin C. Everts, Marshall D. Bedder, Kim J. Burchiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We describe our experience with nine patients with head and neck pain of malignant origin who were treated with continuous low-dose intrathecal morphine via a lumbar catheter and implantable subcutaneous drug delivery pump. All patients had failed prior attempts at oral narcotic pain control due to either poor pain control or intolerable side effects. Using a visual analogue scale where the most severe pain is rated as 10 and no pain is rated as 0, the mean visual analogue scale was reduced from 7.6/10 (range, 5 to 10/10) before implantation to 1.9/10, 2.0/10, and 0.5/10 at 1 week, 1 month, and 2 months after implantation, respectively. Complications were acceptable. We conclude that intrathecal administration of morphine is a safe and effective means of pain control. This method deserves serious consideration in patients with intractable pain secondary to head and neck malignancy. (Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:1277-1280)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1280
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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