Morphine pharmacokinetics during anesthesia and surgery in patients with burns

William R. Furman, Andrew M. Munster, Edward J. Cone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The plasma clearance, plasma half-life, and apparent volume of distribution of morphine during anesthesia and surgery were determined in seven patients with burns and compared with seven age-matched control subjects. The burn group had a significantly lower clearance, longer terminal half-life, and smaller volume of distribution than the control group. The clearance was 12 ± 2 ml/min/kg, the half-life was 123 ± 24 minutes, and the volume of distribution was 2.2 ± 0.4 L/kg for the subjects with burns compared with 25 ± 3 ml/min/kg, 89 ± 18 minutes, and 3.2 ± 0.8 L/kg for the control subjects (P < 0.001, <0.02, and <0.02, respectively). These data contrast with the theory that patients with burns have a tolerance to narcotics and suggest the need for further study of the pharmacologic effects of burn injury and surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-394
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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