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Extended-Release Morphine for Chronic Breathlessness in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension���A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Context: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) affects people of all ages and is associated with poor prognosis. Chronic breathlessness affects almost all people with PAH. Objectives: This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study aimed to evaluate the effects of regular, low-dose, extended-release (ER) morphine for PAH-associated chronic breathlessness. Methods: Participants with PAH-associated chronic breathlessness were randomized to 1) seven days of ER morphine 20 mg, 2) seven-day washout, and 3) seven days of identically looking placebo, or vice versa. Primary end points were breathlessness ���right now������morning and evening���measured with a Visual Analogue Scale. Secondary end points included additional breathlessness measures, quality of life, function, harms, and blinded treatment preference (ACTRN12609000209291). Results: Within a period of seven years, 50 patients were assessed in detail and 23 (46%) were randomized (despite broad eligibility criteria). Four participants withdrew while taking morphine. Nineteen participants completed the study. Breathlessness ���right now��� was higher on morphine compared with placebo both for morning [mean (M) �� SD 31.7 �� 25 mm vs. 26.9 �� 22 mm; effect size (80% CI) = ���0.22 (���0.6 to 0.2)] and evening [(M �� SD 33.5 �� 28 mm vs. 25.6 �� 21 mm; effect size (80% CI) = ���0.33 (���0.8 to 0.1)]. All secondary measures of breathlessness were higher with morphine as were nausea and constipation. Conclusion: This study does not support a Phase III study of ER morphine for people with PAH-associated chronic breathlessness. Recruiting to the target sample size was difficult, the direction of effect in every measure of breathlessness favored placebo and morphine generated more harms.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Ferreira, D. H., Ekstr��m, M., Sajkov, D., Vandersman, Z., Eckert, D. J., & Currow, D. C. (2018). Extended-Release Morphine for Chronic Breathlessness in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension���A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 56(4), 483-492. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.07.010

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85053081567

Start Page


  • 483

End Page


  • 492

Volume


  • 56

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • Context: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) affects people of all ages and is associated with poor prognosis. Chronic breathlessness affects almost all people with PAH. Objectives: This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study aimed to evaluate the effects of regular, low-dose, extended-release (ER) morphine for PAH-associated chronic breathlessness. Methods: Participants with PAH-associated chronic breathlessness were randomized to 1) seven days of ER morphine 20 mg, 2) seven-day washout, and 3) seven days of identically looking placebo, or vice versa. Primary end points were breathlessness ���right now������morning and evening���measured with a Visual Analogue Scale. Secondary end points included additional breathlessness measures, quality of life, function, harms, and blinded treatment preference (ACTRN12609000209291). Results: Within a period of seven years, 50 patients were assessed in detail and 23 (46%) were randomized (despite broad eligibility criteria). Four participants withdrew while taking morphine. Nineteen participants completed the study. Breathlessness ���right now��� was higher on morphine compared with placebo both for morning [mean (M) �� SD 31.7 �� 25 mm vs. 26.9 �� 22 mm; effect size (80% CI) = ���0.22 (���0.6 to 0.2)] and evening [(M �� SD 33.5 �� 28 mm vs. 25.6 �� 21 mm; effect size (80% CI) = ���0.33 (���0.8 to 0.1)]. All secondary measures of breathlessness were higher with morphine as were nausea and constipation. Conclusion: This study does not support a Phase III study of ER morphine for people with PAH-associated chronic breathlessness. Recruiting to the target sample size was difficult, the direction of effect in every measure of breathlessness favored placebo and morphine generated more harms.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Ferreira, D. H., Ekstr��m, M., Sajkov, D., Vandersman, Z., Eckert, D. J., & Currow, D. C. (2018). Extended-Release Morphine for Chronic Breathlessness in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension���A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 56(4), 483-492. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.07.010

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85053081567

Start Page


  • 483

End Page


  • 492

Volume


  • 56

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication