Intrathecal Opiate Trial

One method for treating chronic spinal pain is through a class of medications known as opiates. These are potent medications which are primarily used for pain relief. Over time, patients on these medications can develop a significant tolerance where higher and higher doses are required to achieve the same clinical effect. Another common problem with opiates is that higher doses may provide more adequate pain relief, but side-effects (sedation, nausea, constipation, breathing difficulties) may prevent further dose increases.

By placing these same medications directly into the spinal fluid at substantially lower doses (sometimes as low as 1% of that required by mouth,) significant pain relief can be achieved while avoiding side-effects. This can first be tested during a brief trial performed by needle under live imaging. If the trial is successful, a minimally-invasive surgery can be performed to place a small refillable pump under the skin which continuously administers pain medication into the spinal fluid.

To learn more about our intrathecal opiate trial treatment, contact us.