Feasibility of Double-Blind Clinical Trials with Oral Diacetylmorphine: A Randomized Controlled Phase II Study in an Inpatient Setting

Joan Colom Farran, Miguel Casas, José Pérez de los Cobos, Miquel del Río, Carlos Roncero, Xavier Castells, Sergi Valero, Francisco José Eiroa-Orosa, Francisca Batlle, Joan Trujols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of con- ducting double-blind controlled randomized clinical trials using twice-a-day immediate-release oral diacetylmorphine (DAM) in heroin-dependent patients, by means of measur- ing the capacity of oral DAM to block opiate withdrawal and clinicians’ ability to distinguish it from morphine and metha- done. This was a randomized, phase II, double-blind, multi- center pilot study comparing immediate-release oral DAM, slow-release oral morphine and oral methadone adminis- tered twice a day during 10 days. Forty-five heroin-depen- dent patients were randomly assigned to these three treat- ment groups in an inpatient regime. Patients were stabilized with a mean of 350 mg (SD = 193) of immediate-release oral DAM, 108 mg (SD = 46.2) of slow-release oral morphine and 40 mg (SD = 17.9) of methadone. No statistically significant differences were found between any studied medication in clinical outcome. Neither patients nor clinicians were able to identify the administered medication. This study shows the feasibility of double-blind clinical trials using b.i.d. immedi- ate-release oral DAM allowing further phase III clinical trials in the process of introducing oral DAM as a medication for heroin-dependent patients not responding to standard maintenance treatments.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean addiction research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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