BreatheMOR-HF: Morphine for breathlessness in heart failure

BreatheMOR-HF is a large multi-centre study which looks at whether prescribing slow release daily morphine tablets to individuals with heart failure helps with breathlessness. The study is due to start in September 2015 and is led by Professor Miriam Johnson from the Hull York Medical School and is co-ordinated by researchers at the University of York Trials Unit.

This study is a parallel group, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial comparing the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of 20mg daily oral modified release morphine (MRM) versus placebo on the intensity of dyspnoea in patients with stable symptomatic chronic heart failure (CHF).

What is the problem we are trying to address?

Heart failure affects around 900,000 people in the UK, particularly older people over the age of 75. Heart failure is associated with a number of other serious health conditions such as coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Despite treatment for the heart, chronic breathlessness remains a common problem for people with heart failure causing much distress for patients and carers.

Low doses of morphine can help breathlessness due to cancer or lung disease, but there is little research into people with heart failure. Consequently, this research aims to explore whether low doses of morphine can help people with heart failure. This research is extremely important as improving symptoms of breathlessness in people with heart failure could greatly increase their quality of life.

BreathMOR-HF Emergency unblinding for healthcare professionals (PDF , 239kb)

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