Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Intrathecal morphine is an analgesic option for major hepatopancreaticobiliary procedures but is associated with a risk of respiratory depression. We hypothesised that a postoperative low-dose naloxone infusion would reduce the incidence of respiratory depression without an increase in pain scores. Patients scheduled for major open hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery and who were receiving 10 μ intrathecal morphine were eligible for inclusion. Patients were allocated randomly to receive a postoperative infusion of naloxone 5 μ .h-1 (naloxone group) or saline at an identical infusion rate (control group) until the morning after surgery. Clinicians, nursing staff and patients were blinded to group allocation. The primary outcome measure was the incidence of respiratory depression (respiratory rate -1 and/or oxygen saturation

Original publication






Publication Date





747 - 755


Department of Anaesthesia, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Liver, Humans, Digestive System Diseases, Respiratory Insufficiency, Pain, Postoperative, Morphine, Naloxone, Analgesics, Opioid, Narcotic Antagonists, Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures, Infusions, Intravenous, Injections, Spinal, Incidence, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult