Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Morphine-Like Drugs Could Offer Relief For Amputees

Date:
October 18, 2001
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Fifty to 80 percent of all amputees experience pain in their stumps or what feels like the missing limbs long after surgical wounds have healed. Now new research from Johns Hopkins suggests the two pains have different sources, bringing us a step closer in understanding what types of drugs might help.

Fifty to 80 percent of all amputees experience pain in their stumps or what feels like the missing limbs long after surgical wounds have healed. Now new research from Johns Hopkins suggests the two pains have different sources, bringing us a step closer in understanding what types of drugs might help.

In a study examining stump pain vs. "phantom pain," researchers observed that the powerful pain reliever morphine significantly relieved both stump and phantom pain, while the local anesthetic lidocaine relieved only the stump pain.

"Our results suggest that different therapeutic sensitivities of stump and phantom pain to these drugs exist, and that the mechanisms of these two types of pain may differ," says Srinivasa N. Raja, M.D., lead author of the study and professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Hopkins. The report is to be presented Oct. 16 in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

"Overall, the treatment of phantom and stump pain has been disappointing, in part due to the uncertain nature of the mechanisms behind the pain and the lack of well-controlled clinical studies," he says.

Stump pain is believed to arise from nerve injuries at the site of the amputation and the resulting formation of neuromas, noncancerous tumors that grow out of the injured nerve fibers. Phantom pain is thought to reside in the brain. When the part of the brain that controlled the limb before it was amputated no longer has a function, other areas of the brain fill in. The Hopkins data supports that theory, in that lidocaine, a drug that predominantly works on the peripheral nervous system, did not relieve phantom pain. Morphine acts on the peripheral and central nervous systems.

For the study, Raja and his colleagues studied 32 patients with an average age of 54 who had amputated limbs. Twelve patients had pain in the region of the stump, while nine had pain in the missing part of the limb. Eleven patients experienced both types of pain.

On three consecutive days, each patient was given an intravenous injection of either morphine, lidocaine or placebo. Pain measures and patient satisfaction scores were recorded every five minutes from a half-hour before the injection until a half-hour after. The study was double-blind, meaning neither the patients nor the researchers knew which injection was being given.

Patient satisfaction scores were similar and significantly higher for both lidocaine and morphine compared to placebo, which did not significantly reduce either type of pain.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Other study authors were Christopher L. Wu, M.D.; Peter S. Staats, M.D.; Prabhav K. Tella, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.; and Rachel Vaslav.

Abstract #A-955 "Analgesic Effects of Intravenous Lidocaine and Morphine on Post-Amputation Pain: A Randomized Double-Blind, Active-Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial"

Related Web sites:

Johns Hopkins' Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/anesthesiology/

American Society of Anesthesiologists http://www.asahq.org


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Morphine-Like Drugs Could Offer Relief For Amputees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011017065055.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2001, October 18). Morphine-Like Drugs Could Offer Relief For Amputees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011017065055.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Morphine-Like Drugs Could Offer Relief For Amputees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011017065055.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins