The Morphine Drip

One of the most infamous treatments in medical care is the morphine drip. While often associated with end-of-life care, morphine and other opioid infusions have a role in relieving suffering no matter what stage of illness. They are indicated for severe pain or dyspnea that is expected to be constantly present for an extended period, and in a patient for whom oral medications are not an option or ineffective. Opioid infusions are complex and require attention, even in a patient who is dying. In this video, I'll talk about the pharmacology of morphine and hydromorphone infusions and how to initiate them, as well as common pitfalls such as overly-rapid titration and failing to control symptoms in the hours that it takes for an infusion to take effect.