why do cancer patients only get given Morphine?

My dads in a lot of pain from cancer and we keep asking for better pain meds-he was in the hospital for a week and they only gave him morphine. The best they could come up with was a "morphine injection" if the pain got really bad. His palliative nurse only wants to give him morphine aswell. He's been on morphine for over a year and it's losing effect now. What's the deal, do they only have Morphine in this country? I'm in the UK. Or is it just the cheapest? I know there are way more effective pain meds out there like Fentanyl but they only ever want to give Morphine. Why is this, anyone know?

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is the most studied and widely used analgesic in the world. Whether oral or I.V. it is just the 'goto' medicine for pain.

    However, you are absolutely right there are more effective pain medications .. Fentanyl being the most popular. Even Oxycodone sustained release can be used. Alternatively Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) is very potent I.V.

    You are in the U.K. so I don't really have any great advice to give you based on your location but you do need to to advocate for better pain control through all channels. Call the NIH, state, local, government.. talk to the treating doctor(s).. hospital, everyone. Research these other analgesics.. "opioid analgesics" and know what you are talking about when you refer them.. bring printouts to help you and so on if needed.

    Morphine does not have a ceiling dose.. so it can be increased theoretically indefinitely as a patients tolerance raises... however the side effect profile generally goes up as well, so there can be a time of diminishing returns.

    Good luck,

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