Oxycodone for cancer-related pain: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Colette M. Reid*, Richard M. Martin, Jonathan A C Sterne, Andrew N. Davies, Geoffrey W. Hanks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of oxycodone in cancer-related pain, we conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Four studies, comparing oral oxycodone with either oral morphine (n=3) or oral hydromorphone (n=1), were suitable for meta-analysis. Standardized mean differences in pain scores comparing oxycodone with control groups were pooled using random-effects models. Overall, there was no evidence that mean pain scores differed between oxycodone and control drugs (pooled standardized mean difference, 0.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.29 to 0.36; P=.8; I2=62%). In meta-regression analyses, pain scores were higher for oxycodone compared with morphine (0.20; 95% CI, -0.04 to 0.44) and lower compared with hydromorphone (-0.36; 95% CI, -0.71 to 0.00), although these effect sizes were small. The efficacy and tolerability of oxycodone are similar to morphine, supporting its use as an opioid for cancer-related pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-843
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2006


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