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Recurrent Seizure Activity After Epidural Morphine in a Post-Partum Woman (Shih et al, 2005)

Recurrent Seizure Activity After Epidural Morphine in a Post-Partum Woman (Shih et al, 2005)

  1. Jatelka
    The Canadian Journal of Anaesthesiology 52: 7 / pp 727–729


    Chih-Jen Shih MD, Anthony G. Doufas MD PhD, Hsu-Chu Chang MD, Chun-Ming Lin MD.

    Purpose: We report on a primiparous woman who suffered recur- rent seizure activity after repeated small doses of epidural morphine to highlight the neuroexcitation potential of neuraxial opioids in the epileptic patient.
    Clinical features: Seizure activities as a complication of opioid administration have been reported in laboratory animals and humans. We report the case of a 30-yr-old primiparous woman with a history of epilepsy under carbamazepine treatment, who had epidural anesthesia for elective Cesarean section at 38 weeks ges- tation. Postoperatively, 1.5 mg of morphine were administered epidurally for pain control. Three hours later the patient suffered from clonic movements of the right arm without loss of conscious- ness. One day later, she again received 1 mg of epidural morphine twice at a 12-hr interval and similar seizure episodes recurred eight hours after each dose. A relation between the administration of morphine and seizure activity was suspected and the use of opioids for pain control was stopped. The patient was discharged on the fifth postoperative day and, more than one year after the last episode, she remains free of any seizure activity.
    Conclusion: Our report indicates that even a remote history of epilepsy carries a pro-convulsant potential in the peripartum peri- od, even following the administration of small doses of epidural morphine.