INTRODUCTION Short acting narcotics are not available in Pakistan and the supply of drugs like morphine and pethidine is short and erratic; therefore there is a need for investigating acceptable alternatives for analgesia, to be used for balanced anaesthesia. OBJECTIVE We studied the agonist-antagonist narcotic nalbuphine compared to morphine, for intra and postoperative pain relief in total abdominal hysterectomies. METHODS In a randomised double blind trial, fifty ASA I and II patients in two groups of twenty five each were given equianalgesic doses of morphine and nalbuphine. Hemodynamic stability, intraoperative analgesia, recovery profiles, incidence of side effects and need for postoperative supplements were compared using standard anaesthesia technique for induction, maintenance and reversal. Postoperative analgesia profile was studied by the need for supplements in twenty four hours using the unidimensional verbal category scale. RESULTS We found that patients in the morphine group showed a rise of mean blood pressure and heart rate to 20% above the baseline in response to intubation whereas in the nalbuphine group it remained within 20% of baseline. Twelve out of twenty five patients in the morphine group and four out of twenty five patients in the nalbuphine group needed intraoperative supplements. Recovery profiles were similar in the two groups; postoperative nausea and vomiting and need for postoperative supplements was significantly less in the nalbuphine group. CONCLUSION We conclude that nalbuphine provides better haemodynamic stability and better analgesia, recovery profile and postoperative pain relief compared to morphine in patients undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy.