Comparison of Analgesic Effects of Nebulized Morphine with Fentanyl Transdermal Patch and Oral Methadone for Cancer Patients in Terminal Stages; a Double-blind Randomized Controlled Study

Recent years have witnessed widespread reports on the effectiveness of nebulized morphine for dyspnea, yet there is no evidence for its effectiveness in analgesic therapy.


This study aims to compare effectiveness and side effects of inhalation morphine with oral methadone and transdermal fentanyl in sequential days in end stage cancer patients.


This double-blind, randomized controlled study conducted between April and September 2017. Ninety eligible cancer patients presenting to Sayed al-Shohada Hospital were selected non-randomly according to inclusion criteria and then divided to 3 groups in random order. Pain severity was scored by Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Patients were followed up for 3 days and then data were analyzed by SPSS. The benchmark of success was set as marking 4 or below on VAS and a reduction ratio of 50 percent.


Pain severity was equal for 3 groups before the first administration (p>0.05), but it decreased significantly from 8.45 (range 6-10) at baseline to 2.46 (range 1-4) at the end of the 3rd day in the nebulized group. The decrease ratio was equal to 70.8% after three days (p<0.05). Pain severity reduced from 8.45 (range 7-10) to 1.8 (range 1-3) (p<0.05) in the methadone group, and reduced from 8.5 (range 6-10) to 2.13 (range 1-3) in the fentanyl group.


Our study showed that nebulized morphine, just like oral methadone and transdermal fentanyl, is effective, safe, and well-tolerated for pain management in patients with cancer.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Advanced Journal of Emergency Medicine, Volume:3 Issue:3, 2019
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