Skip to main content

Intrathecal Analgesia

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is intrathecal analgesia (IA)?

IA is a type of pain control. It is also called spinal anesthesia. Pain medicine is injected around your spinal cord to control pain from surgery or labor and delivery. IA can also be used to control long-term pain from illnesses, such as cancer.

Vertebral Column

How will happen during an IA injection?

Your healthcare provider may give you a single injection of IA if you need pain relief for a short period of time. He or she will use a needle and insert medicine into the area around your spine. He or she may insert a catheter (tube) that will remain in place if you need pain controlled over a longer period of time. This will allow you to have pain relief as you need it.

What should I expect after an IA injection?

A headache is common after IA. The following can help you manage the pain:

What are the risks of spinal anesthesia?

Your blood pressure or breathing may become too slow. You may have nausea or itching skin. You might have trouble urinating. You could have bleeding, swelling, or a leakage of spinal fluid around the catheter or shot area. Rarely, you could get an infection in your head or spine.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Learn more about Intrathecal Analgesia

Care guides

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.