[CG] Opiate analgesia in labour


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  • For all labouring women (primigravida and parous) requesting opiate analgesia the dose should be based on the woman's most recent weight as follows:
Most recent weight (kg) Dose of Diamorphine (mg)

< 50 kg

50 to 60 kg

> 60 kg




  • If a woman has had a 5mg I.M. dose of diamorphine in Maternity Assessment there should be a 2 hour gap before a labouring dose is administered. If analgesia is required before this, medical staff should review the woman. A second labouring dose may be given 4 hours later if necessary. (3 doses maximum to include Maternity Assessment dose). Subsequent doses should be prescribed by medical staff.

  • If a second or third dose of diamorphine, for labouring women, is required it may be given by midwife in accordance with the midwifery formulary. There should be an interval of 4 hours between doses. The repeat doses should be as described in the table above. (3 doses maximum). Subsequent doses should be prescribed by medical staff.

  • If a second or subsequent dose of diamorphine has been administered 2 to 4 hours prior to delivery, the paediatric junior doctor and the neonatal nurse or midwife should be called to the delivery.

Last reviewed: 26 May 2016

Next review: 31 May 2021

Author(s): June Grant

Version: 2

Approved By: Dr C Bain, Clinical Director, Obstetrics, GGC

Document Id: 445