A Comparision of Nalbuphine with Morphine for Analgesic Effects and Safety : Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Zeng, Zheng; Lu, Jianhua; Shu, Chang; Chen, Yuanli; Guo, Tong; Wu, Qing-ping; Yao, Shang-long; Yin, Ping
June 2015
Scientific Reports;6/5/2015, p10927
Academic Journal
Although morphine is the standard opioid analgesic for pain control and has been widely used, certain drug-induced adverse effects have been reported as intolerable and need to be addressed. Nalbuphine may have a few advantages over morphine in this respect. We aimed to describe the effect of nalbuphine as well as its saftey compared to morphine by analyzing published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with meta-analysis approach. We analysed 15 trials (820 patients). Overall, there was no evidence to show that the effect of pain relief had any difference between nalbuphine and morphine (pooled relative risks [RRs], 1.01; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.11; P = 0.90). On the other hand, the incidences of pruritus, nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression were significantly lower in nalbuphine group compared with morphine group, and the pooled RRs were 0.78(95%CI, 0.602-0.997; P = 0.048) for nausea, 0.65(95%CI, 0.50-0.85; P = 0.001) for vomiting, 0.17(95%CI, 0.09-0.34; P < 0.0001) for pruritus, and 0.27(95%CI, 0.12-0.57; P = 0.0007) for respiratory depression. The analgesic efficacy of nalbuphine is comparable to morphine, but nalbuphine provides a better safety profile than morphine in the aspect of certain side-effects, especially related to pruritus and respiratory depression.


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