MorphiDex (MS:DM) double-blind,
multiple-dose studies in chronic pain patients

Katz NP.
Brigham & Women's Hospital,
Pain and Management Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
J Pain Symptom Manage 2000 Jan;19 (1 Suppl): S37-41


Preclinical and double-blind single-dose placebo-controlled studies demonstrated that MorphiDex (MS:DM), a 1:1 ratio of morphine sulfate (MS) to dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DM), provides significantly greater analgesia than an equal dose of immediate release MS, with a faster onset, and a duration of > or = 8 h. The analgesic effect of MS:DM compared to MS was evaluated in 2 double-blind, multiple-dose studies in 321 patients with cancer and other chronic pain: a crossover study that consisted of two 2-wk periods and a 4-wk parallel study. As specified in the study protocols, patients took sufficient MS or MS:DM to achieve satisfactory pain control. In the crossover study, the MS:DM group required half as much morphine as the MS group to achieve satisfactory pain control (80 mg and 162 mg, respectively). The interval between doses and the time from the last dose of the day to the first dose of the next day were significantly longer for MS:DM compared to MS. In the parallel study, MS:DM also provided pain control at a significantly lower dose. After four weeks of treatment, the mean daily dose of MS increased, while there was little change in the MS:DM mean daily dose (P = 0.025) to maintain satisfactory pain control. More patients preferred MS:DM to run-in MS than preferred MS to run-in MS (P = 0.026). The addition of DM to MS did not increase the incidence of adverse events, which were those commonly associated with opioid use. These studies confirm that MS:DM provides satisfactory pain relief but at a significantly lower morphine daily dose.
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