Chronic breathlessness in COPD: Effects of low-dose oral morphine

Cornelia Antonia Verberkt

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

399 Downloads (Pure)


Breathlessness is the most common symptom in patients with advanced COPD and is often undertreated.

Assessing the effect of morphine on:
• Quality of life
• Side effects
• Costs
Other purposes were to determine if a positive effect of morphine can be predicted and what the willingness of patients is to use opioids.

• Literature study of side effects of opioids when prescribed for breathlessness;
• Intervention study with morphine tablets of placebo for 4 weeks in 124 patients with advanced COPD;
• Survey on willingness to use opioids.

Morphine for 4 weeks improves quality of life in patients with advanced COPD and is cost-effective, without causing serious side effects. In patients with more severe breathlessness and a higher BMI, morphine more often leads to a positive effect. Finally, the willingness to use opioids is variable. The physician is an important source of information.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Wouters, Emiel, Supervisor
  • van Everdingen - van den Beuken, Maria, Supervisor
  • Janssen, Daisy, Co-Supervisor
Award date29 Oct 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464166484
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • breathlessness
  • morphine
  • COPD


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