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Research Article

Randomised trial comparing buprenorphine and diamorphine for chest pain in suspected myocardial infarction.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 04 August 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:300
  1. M J Hayes,
  2. A R Fraser,
  3. J R Hampton


    Buprenorphine, a new powerful analgesic agent, was used to treat chest pain in patients with suspected myocardial infarction. Initial studies showed no significant changes in systemic or pulmonary artery blood pressure or in heart rate after intravenous buprenorphine. Sublingual buprenorphine also appeared effective in relieving pain, but its onset of action was considerably delayed compared with the intravenous route. A randomised double-blind controlled trial of equivalent doses of buprenorphine and diamorphine showed no significant difference between the drugs in terms of pain relief and duration of action. The occurrence of nausea, vomiting, and other side effects was similar in the two groups. The onset of action of buprenorphine was slightly but significantly slower than that of diamorphine. Since buprenorphine seems to be comparable with diamorphine in action and is not a controlled drug, it may prove useful in both general and hospital practice.