Continuous morphine infusions for cancer pain in resource-scarce environments: comparison of the subcutaneous and intravenous routes of administration

J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2005;19(1):27-33.


Acute onset of severe pain in cancer patients may be due to multiple causes. Irrespective of the etiology, adequate analgesia has to be provided as quickly as possible. The standard practices of relieving pain by using syringe pumps (syringe drivers) or infusion pumps may not be feasible in resource-scarce developing nations where many cancer patients first present at advanced stages of disease for management. This study compared the efficacy of the subcutaneous and intravenous routes of morphine administration continuously using a simple and economic technique for cancer pain management. Both routes were found to be equally effective in producing good analgesia without side effects. The drip method is a cost-effective way of providing subcutaneous morphine infusion for cancer patients and is applicable for both inpatients and home care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / economics
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine / administration & dosage*
  • Morphine / economics
  • Morphine / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Terminally Ill


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Morphine