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Effect of Inhaled Fentanyl on Dyspnea and Exercise Tolerance in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Information source: Queen's University
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Intervention: fentanyl (Drug); normal saline (placebo) (Drug)

Phase: N/A

Status: Recruiting

Sponsored by: Queen's University

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Denis E O'Donnell, MD, FRCPC, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital
Deborah Dudgeon, MD, FRCPC, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital

Overall contact:
Kathy Webb, M.Sc., Phone: 613-549-6666, Ext: 4950, Email: kw2@queensu.ca


Breathing discomfort (dyspnea) and activity limitation are dominant symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and contribute to poor health-related quality of life in this population. Several small, uncontrolled studies and published case reports have provided evidence that inhaled fentanyl, a powerful pain relieving (opioid) medication, may be used to effectively reduce breathing discomfort in patients with advanced disease. However, the mechanisms of this improvement remain unclear. Therefore, the investigators plan to conduct the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study designed to explore the possible mechanisms of action of inhaled fentanyl on activity-related dyspnea and exercise performance in patients with advanced COPD.

Clinical Details

Official title: Effect of Inhaled Nebulized Fentanyl on Exertional Dyspnea and Exercise Tolerance in Patients With Moderate-to-severe COPD

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Dyspnea intensity measured by the 10-point Borg scale during cycle exercise

Secondary outcome: Cycle exercise endurance time


Minimum age: 40 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) 30-79% predicted,

FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio <70%;

- Clinically stable as defined by no changes in medication dosage or frequency of

administration with no exacerbations or hospital admissions in the preceding 6 weeks;

- A cigarette smoking history ≥20 pack-years;

- Significant chronic activity-related dyspnea as defined by a Baseline Dyspnea Index

focal score ≤ 6;

- Body mass index (BMI) between 18. 5 and 30. 0 kg/m2;

- Able to perform all study procedures and provide/sign informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

- A diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) <40 %predicted;

- Presence of active cardiopulmonary disease other than COPD that could contribute to

dyspnea and exercise limitation;

- Clinical diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing;

- A history/clinical evidence of asthma, atopy and/or nasal polyps;

- History of allergy or adverse reaction to fentanyl;

- Presence of important contraindications to clinical exercise testing, including

inability to exercise because of neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disease(s);

- Use of daytime oxygen or exercise-induced arterial oxygen desaturation to <80% on

room air;

- Use of antidepressant drugs (i. e., monoamine oxidase inhibitors, serotonin reuptake

inhibitors) in previous 2 weeks;

- Use of opioid or pain relieving drugs (e. g., morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone,

hydromorphone, methadone, levorphanol, codeine, hydrocodone, meperidine) in previous 4 weeks.

Locations and Contacts

Kathy Webb, M.Sc., Phone: 613-549-6666, Ext: 4950, Email: kw2@queensu.ca

Respiratory Investigation Unit, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7, Canada; Recruiting
Denis E O'Donnell, MD, FRCPC, Principal Investigator
Additional Information

Starting date: January 2010
Last updated: April 18, 2011

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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