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Effect of low dose, extended-release morphine on chronic breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Low-Dose, Extended-release Morphine on Chronic Breathlessness in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • randomized clinical trial including 156 people with COPD and chronic breathlessness, treatment with 8 mg/d and 16 mg/d of oral extended-release morphine for 1 week resulted in a mean difference of -0.3 and -0.3, respectively, for change in the intensity of worst breathlessness compared with placebo; neither difference was statistically significant
    • scores range from 0 to 10 (a score of 10 being the worst or most intense) on the numerical rating scale that was used
  • concludes:
    • extended-release morphine compared with placebo did not significantly reduce the intensity of worst breathlessness in people with COPD (1)
    • among people with COPD and severe chronic breathlessness, daily low-dose, extended-release morphine did not significantly reduce the intensity of worst breathlessness after 1 week of treatment


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