Study highlights safety concerns over morphine use after tonsillectomy
Source: Mark Thomas / Science Photo Library
In children who have undergone tonsillectomy, it has not been clear which analgesic is best to use. Codeine has recently been contraindicated for pain management after surgery; remaining options include morphine and ibuprofen.
Now, results of a randomised trial involving 91 children undergoing tonsillectomy for breathing problems at night have highlighted safety concerns with morphine. On the first night after surgery, just 14% of children given morphine showed an improvement in blood oxygen levels, compared with 32% of those given ibuprofen. Furthermore, apnea events were significantly more frequent with morphine than ibuprofen — a difference of 11 events per hour, on average.
“The evidence clearly suggests that children with obstructive sleep apnoea should not be given morphine for post-operative pain,” says lead study author Gideon Koren of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20067756
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