- Epidural morphine-induced pruritus (EMIP) affected 18.6% of the population in this study and was associated with a history of allergy and not using serotonin receptor antagonists.
Why this matters
- Women often complain about pruritus after epidural administration.
- Pruritus can be a troublesome side effect, and little is known about its incidence or how to relieve it.
- 18.6% of the cohort reported EMIP.
- Patients with pruritus reported itching around face, trunk, upper limbs, lower limbs, or throughout the body.
- The itching emerged 5.6±4.8 hours after morphine administration and lasted for 14.0±8.8 hours.
- Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores were not significantly different in women with EMIP compared with the no-EMIP group.
- Risk factors for EMIP included history of allergy (P<.001 not using a serotonin receptor antagonist>
- Prospective, multicentre, observational study.
- Participants having elective cesarean delivery were invited to participate (n=284).
- Epidural morphine (2-3 mg) was administered after delivery and before the end of the operation.
- Primary outcome was incidence of EMIP.
- Funding: Tibet Natural Science Funding Committee Grant; CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences.
- Results may not be generalisable; population mainly of Asian ancestry.