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Narcotic pain meds during radiotherapy to the tongue

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  • Narcotic pain meds during radiotherapy to the tongue

    I am 2 weeks in to 6 weeks of radiotherapy for tongue cancer (no chemo). It’s very likely that I will soon need some hardcore pain meds to manage the Mucositis pain and allow me to continue to eat. Morphine or fentanyl patches are likely to be the drugs my doctor prescribes.

    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my 9 month old baby since birth. He was born at 39 weeks, is in good health and average weight. He eats solids well and currently has 2 meals per day. I intend to continue breastfeeding after the cancer treatment has ended.

    I have sufficient frozen breastmilk to feed him for about 6 weeks, and I intend to pump and dump to maintain my supply. He is currently direct breastfed most of the time and I am concerned about damaging our breastfeeding relationship by an extended period of bottle feeding. I’m also worried about the increased difficulty we will have in settling him.

    Is taking morphine for this length of time whilst breastfeeding not advised? Would a scenario where I direct breastfed him once or twice per day, and bottle fed him frozen milk the rest of the time be possible?

  • #2
    Just bumping this in case it was missed, thanks.

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    • #3
      SW80: You have multiple choices for pain relief. At 9 months he's not likely to have any problems, but I'd suggest starting with hydrocodone, or fentanyl patches.

      Just watch him for sedation, difficulty to arouse, or constipation. All are symptoms of opiate exposure.

      Tom Hale Ph.D.

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