Author(s): Eyelade OR, Ajayi IO, Elumelu TN, Soyannwo OA, Akinyemi OA
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Abstract Oral morphine elixir in the immediate release form became available in Nigeria in the year 2006 after decades of use in the treatment of cancer pain in many other countries. In order to determine the effectiveness of oral morphine in Nigerian patients, 182 patients presenting with severe cancer pain at the Radiotherapy Clinic, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Nigeria, were recruited in a prospective descriptive observational study. Information on patient's demography, diagnosis, baseline intensity and character of pain, morphine dosages, and effects were collected using a semistructured questionnaire administered at recruitment and biweekly in the follow-up period. Mean (+ SD) age of the patients was 47 (+ 14.6) years and the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the study participants included cancer of the breast and uterine cervix. The pretreatment pain intensity score mean (+ SD) was 8.09 (+ 1.51). Of the 166 patients whose data were analyzed, 84.3\% (95\% confidence interval [CI] 77.8-89.5\%) achieved a 3-point reduction in pain intensity using the 11-point Numerical Rating Scale at the end of the first week of treatment. Twenty-six patients (15.7\%) required adjuvant therapy. The reduction in pain intensity was maintained throughout the 3 months follow-up period, with the mean 24-hour morphine consumption of 55.54 mg in the first month and 61.54 mg in the third month. Oral morphine significantly reduced cancer pain in Nigerian patients (P < .01). Increasing dose as required was found to enhance the effectiveness of oral morphine.
This article was published in J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine