Pain meds: How much morphine? What to expect it to be increased to?

Posted by chuckmii @chuckmii, Mar 1 7:45am

My wife started folfiri 2 weeks ago, 2nd dose yesterday. We are 8 months into this hell, stage 4 spread to liver and peritoneum. This is the 3rd treatment regimen as the first 2, folfox (bad side effects), (5FU by itself) were not effective. I have posted on here a lot about her progress and questions.

After the first folfiri dose she is having lots of pain (worse she has ever felt in her life) and the doctor has now upped the extended release morphine to 45mg twice a day plus 15mg fast acting for breakthrough pain. I understand she started in the lowest dose and maybe this isn’t a big deal but how much morphine is you or your loved one taking during their fight? What should we expect it to be increased to in the long run? I know everyone is different and the doctors never really want to say, just trying to be prepared as my wife is not a fan of taking these drugs because of some fear due to addiction issues in her families past and the way they make her feel.

Thanks for the replies and support as always.

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@chuckmii, I have no answer for you since I was able to avoid morphin. I hope this new treatment will work for your wife and that she will receive the right amount of painkiller to be comfortable without risking an addiction.

Sending a big hug to both of you.


Hi @chuckmii, fellow members like @lizduffey @clynnford @mnmimi @nunz12 @momhascancer have talked about their loved having morphine to manage cancer pain. You might also be interested in this related discussion:

- Anyone using oxycodone to manage cancer pain? Please share.

Chuck, I recommend you and your wife discuss her concerns about addiction with her oncologist and/or pain management doctor. Morphine can be used effectively without risk of addiction when administered correctly and monitored carefully. I understand your wife's concern given the family history and I'm confident that the pain specialist can adjust accordingly to keep her comfortable both in terms of her pain, the pain killer side effects and the concerns of addiction.

Do you have a pain management specialist? Does she she a palliative care specialist?


@colleenyoung Thank you. That at least showed me people who are taking similar doses. We have discussed this with palliative and the oncologist. I think it throws them off a bit that someone would rather be in pain then take opioids. They are becoming a bit better at communicating and suggesting increasing dosage. I like to be prepared for when she has questions in between appointments.

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