What narcotics are in common use in the U.S. for relieving labor pain?
What are the effects of narcotics on labor pain?
How are narcotics administered?
What are the advantages of narcotics?
What are the drawbacks of narcotics?
A new alternative is patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). With this technique, you can give yourself a small dose of IV medication when you need it by pushing a button. A lockout mechanism keeps you from going beyond a preset dose.
A nasal spray version of butorphanol (Stadol NS), which was developed to treat migraine pain, is used in some maternity settings. The manufacturer's "label" for this drug, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, does not recommend use in labor as it has not been studied for this purpose.
Most recent page update: 11/16/2012
© 2016 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.
Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
News and Features
Check out our resource, "Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care"
Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
We want all women and babies receive the best possible maternity care.