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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Anesthesiology 1/2018

Comparison of analgesic effect of oxycodone and morphine on patients with moderate and advanced cancer pain: a meta-analysis

BMC Anesthesiology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Kai-Kai Guo, Cheng-Qi Deng, Gui-Jun Lu, Guo-Li Zhao
Wichtige Hinweise
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12871-018-0630-5.



Morphine and oxycodone are considered as wide-spreadly used opioids for moderate/severe cancer pain. However, debate exists about the evidence regarding their relative tolerability and underlying results.


A systematic search of online electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library updated on October 2017 were conducted. The meta-analysis was performed including the studies that were designed as randomized controlled trials.


In total, seven randomized clinical trials met our inclusion criteria. No statistical differences in analgesic effect between oxycodone and morphine were observed. Both the pooled analysis of API (MD =0.01, 95% CI -0.22 – 0.23; p = 0.96) and WPI (MD = − 0.05, 95% CI -0.21 – 0.30; p = 0.72) demonstrated clinical non-inferiority of the efficacy of morphine compared with oxycodone, respectively. Additionally, no significant difference in PRR response was observed in either oxycodone or morphine that were used in patients (MD =0.99, 95% CI -0.88 – 1.11; p = 0.87). With the pooled result of AEs indicating the comparable safety profiles between the 2 treatment groups, the meta-analysis on the nausea (OR = 1.20, 95% CI 0.90–1.59; p = 0.22), vomiting (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 0.75–2.38; p = 0.33), somnolence (OR = 1.35, 95% CI 0.95–1.93; p = 0.10), diarrhea (OR = 1.01, 95% CI 0.60–1,67; p = 0.98), and constipation (OR = 1.04, 95% CI 0.77–1.41; p = 0.79) was conducted, respectively.


In the current study, no remarkable difference was identified either in analgesic efficacy or in tolerability of oxycodone and morphine as the first-line therapy for patients with moderate to severe cancer pain. Thus, no sufficient clinical evidence on the superior effects of oxycodone to morphine was provided in this experimental hypothesis.
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