Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Two Intravenous Morphine Dosages (0.10 mg/kg and 0.15 mg/kg) in Emergency Department Patients With Moderate to Severe Acute Pain

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Study objective: We compare pain relief and safety of morphine 0.10 mg/kg with 0.15 mg/kg in adult emergency department (ED) patients with acute pain. Methods: This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of intravenous morphine 0.10 mg/kg versus 0.15 mg/kg, (delivered in 2 divided doses) in adult ED patients with acute pain requiring opioid analgesia. Assessment was made at baseline, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes with a validated verbal numeric rating scale. Pain reduction and satisfaction scores were measured at 30 and 60 minutes. The primary outcome measure was the between-group difference in mean before-after change in numeric rating scale from baseline to 60 minutes. Results: Two hundred eighty patients were enrolled. Between-group difference in numeric rating scale improvement from baseline to 60 minutes was 0.8 (95% confidence interval 0.1 to 1.5), favoring the 0.15 mg/kg group. Pain relief scores and adverse events were similar in the 2 groups. Conclusion: Although 0.15 mg/kg of morphine is safe and provides statistically superior analgesia compared with a dose of morphine at 0.10 mg/kg, this difference in pain reduction did not reach the threshold of greater than 1.3 numeric rating scale units required to declare the higher dose of morphine clinically superior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-453.e2
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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