Single-dose, sustained-release epidural morphine in the management of postoperative pain after elective cesarean delivery: results of a multicenter randomized controlled study

Anesth Analg. 2005 Apr;100(4):1150-1158. doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000149544.58230.FF.


In this multicenter, randomized, controlled study, we compared the analgesic efficacy and safety profile of a new single-dose extended-release epidural morphine (EREM) formulation (DepoDur) with that of epidural morphine sulfate for the management of postoperative pain for up to 48 h after elective cesarean delivery. ASA physical status I or II parturients (n = 75) were anesthetized with a combined spinal/epidural technique. Parturients received intrathecal bupivacaine 12-15 mg and fentanyl 10 mug for spinal anesthesia and a single epidural injection of either 5 mg of standard (conventional preservative-free) morphine or 5, 10, or 15 mg of extended-release morphine after cord clamping for postoperative pain control. Single-dose EREM 10 and 15 mg groups significantly decreased total supplemental opioid medication use and improved functional ability scores for 48 h after surgery compared with those receiving 5 mg of standard morphine. Visual analog scale pain scores at rest and with activity at 24 to 48 h after dosing were significantly better in the 10- and 15-mg single-dose EREM groups versus the standard morphine group. There were no significant differences between the two 5 mg (single-dose EREM and standard morphine) groups. Single-dose EREM was well tolerated, and most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity. Single-dose EREM is a potentially beneficial epidural analgesic for the management of post-cesarean delivery pain and has particular advantages over standard morphine for the period from 24 to 48 h after surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Morphine / administration & dosage
  • Morphine / adverse effects
  • Morphine / therapeutic use*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Morphine