Low-dose morphine better than weak opioids for moderate cancer pain
The study subjects were randomized to receive either low-dose morphine (n=118) or a weak-opioid agent (n=122). A 20 percent pain intensity reduction was seen in 88.2 percent of the subjects in the morphine group and 57.7 percent in the weak-opioid group (P=0.001).
The morphine group also had a higher percentage of responders by week 1 of treatment. In addition, the same treatment group had significantly higher clinically meaningful (more than 30 percent) and highly meaningful (more than 50 percent) pain reduction.
Inadequate analgesia in the weak-opioid group resulted to frequent change in the assigned treatment.