Switch from Diamorphine to Morphine

Switch from Diamorphine to Morphine

April 30, 2018

Advance notice for professionals of the new Shared Care Plan for the last days of life, the switch from Diamorphine to Morphine and updated prescription chart on 11th June 2018 – Make sure you are prepared!

The first line strong opioid for subcutaneous administration when needed to manage pain and breathlessness in dying adults will change from diamorphine to morphine from 11th June 2018. The updated Shared Care Plan will also be launched and updated prescription chart on that date.

Reasons for this switch include morphine supplies being more reliable, relative ease of administration as dilution is not required, consistency of practice across the borders of the county and a potential financial saving.

When administered at the correct dose, morphine is as effective as diamorphine and can be similarly mixed with other symptom control medications in a syringe pump. However the conversion ratio from oral morphine to subcutaneous morphine does differ.

TO CONVERT FROM ORAL MORPHINE TO SUBCUTANEOUS MORPHINE FOR ADMINISTRATION OVER 24 HOURS VIA A SYRINGE PUMP, DIVIDE THE 24 HOUR ORAL MORPHINE DOSE BY 2.

A power point presentation on the switch is available.

Resources and guidance: Updated resources including the Shared Care Plan, symptom control drug chart pocket conversion guide are available to order.

Following the launch guidance will also be available on the internet and can be obtained at all times for Gloucestershire’s Palliative Care Teams who are via the Hospital Trust switchboard 0300 422 2222.

Training: Face to face training is available.

Staff working at Gloucestershire Hospitals will be invited to attend a separate training programme.




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