A multicenter, primary-care-based, open-label study to assess the success of converting opioid-experienced patients with chronic moderate-to-severe pain to morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride extended-release capsules using a standardized conversion guide

J Pain Res. 2015 Jul 8;8:347-60. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S82395. eCollection 2015.


Objective: To evaluate the conversion of opioid-experienced patients with chronic moderate-to-severe pain to extended-release morphine sulfate with sequestered naltrexone hydrochloride (MSN) using a standardized conversion guide.

Methods: This open-label, single-arm study was conducted in 157 primary care centers in the United States. A total of 684 opioid-experienced adults with chronic moderate-to-severe pain were converted to oral administration of MSN from transdermal fentanyl and oral formulations of hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and other morphine products using a standardized conversion guide. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients achieving a stable MSN dose within a 6-week titration phase. Secondary endpoints included duration of time to stable dose, number of titration steps, safety and efficacy measures, and investigator assessment of conversion guide utility.

Results: Of the 684 patients, 51.3% were converted to a stable dose of MSN (95% confidence interval: 47.5%, 55.1%). The mean (standard deviation) number of days to stable dose was 20 (8.94), and number of titration steps to stable dose was 2.4 (1.37). The majority of adverse events were mild/moderate and consistent with opioid therapy. Mean pain scores at stable dose decreased from baseline. Investigators were generally satisfied with the conversion guide and, in 94% of cases, reported they would use it again.

Conclusion: Conversion to MSN treatment using the standardized MSN conversion guide was an attainable goal in approximately half of the population of opioid-experienced patients with chronic moderate-to-severe pain. Investigators found the guide to be a useful tool to assist conversion of opioid-experienced patients to MSN.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01179191.

Keywords: equianalgesic; morphine; opioid conversion; primary care; rotation; safety.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01179191