Failure of epidural morphine to relieve pain in labour

Anaesthesia. 1980 Feb;35(2):161-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1980.tb03797.x.


Lumbar epidural injections of 2 mg preservative-free morphine were given to 10 subjects in established labour. Assessment of pain using a visual analogue scoring system revealed no appreciable relief of pain 30 min after morphine infection. Analgesia was subsequently provided by epidural injection of 8 ml bupivacaine 0.375%. Failure of epidural 2 mg in the treatment of severe pain other than labour. Possible explanations for this discrepancy are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Epidural*
  • Anesthesia, Obstetrical*
  • Bupivacaine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Morphine*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors


  • Morphine
  • Bupivacaine