Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthGeneral Health CarePain & Pain Management · 5 months ago

Why isn’t morphine used for pain management instead of epidural? Is epidural a less potent drug? Will morphine kill the baby?

4 Answers

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  • Pippin
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    As others have said, an epidural is not a drug, but a technique.

    In past eras, opiates were commonly used through labor. And babies were often born 'depressed' -- having trouble breathing well and sleepy. Moms were also very sleepy, and less able to interact with their newborns. (Baby did not get high, and did not become addicted -- but was sleepy.)

    Once epidurals were developed, they became the norm for women who need pain relief in labor -- they are safer AND more effective. A win-win situation.

    Opiates are still sometimes used during labor. Sometimes if early labor is prolonged and mom is getting tired, a drug like morphine might be given to give the laboring woman a break and 'take the edge off' the pain, without leaving mom paralyzed from an epidural for many hours. When given early in labor, it's usually worn off before baby is born and does not affect baby's ability to breathe. (Or mom's ability to hold her baby and breastfeed.)

  • 5 months ago

    Morphine can prevent infants from being able to breath. It can kill the baby.

    Epidural is not a drug. There is no drug by that name. It is a procedure in which a tiny amount of a drug is introduced into the space around the dura mater of the spinal cord. It is a local anesthetic that only affect that area and not the whole body.

    Any drug could be used (including morphine). But usually more modern drugs that work in smaller doses, are not addictive and do not suppress breathing are used. Epidurals of anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat back pains for example. They are not limited to when you are having a baby.

    The epidural deadens the pain in the spinal column so that your brain is never told you are having pain and so it does no react. Morphine mask the pain with "good feelings" all over. Very different treatments.

    You do not want to get the baby high, so they use an epidural rather than morphine during delivery.

  • 5 months ago

    Epidural anesthesia delivers medication in smaller quantities directly to the target tissue where is it more slowly absorbed and metabolized.

    The amount of drug that would have to be given intravenously would not be good for the baby or the mother.

  • Fuhr
    Lv 6
    5 months ago

    Sure, if you want to stop the baby from breathing, fire away will all the morphine that you want.

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