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Protocol Details

Effects of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain and Opioidergic versus Placebo Interventions on Neuroendocrine Function in Men

This study is NOT currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Completed Study; data analyses ongoing
Gender: Male
Min Age: 30
Max Age: 65

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)


Special Instructions

Currently Not Provided


Chronic Pain;
Neuroendocrine Axis;
Degenerative Diseases

Recruitment Keyword(s)

Chronic Pain


Chronic Pain;

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Drug: MS Contin

Supporting Site

National Institute of Nursing Research

This study will examine hormone function in men with osteoarthritis pain and how it is affected by opioid medication (such as Percocet, Vicodin, MS Contin and morphine) versus placebo.

Men between 30 and 65 years of age who have had moderate to severe osteoarthritis joint pain at least 5 days a week over the past 3 months may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a physical examination, x-rays, laboratory and other tests, and questionnaires about pain, mood and medical health. They are given a pain diary to complete for 2 weeks.

Participants are admitted to the hospital for two 12 hour overnight stays, during each of which they provide a 24-hour urine collection and have a small blood sample drawn every 20 minutes for 12 hours (from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) through a catheter that remains in place in a vein. Blood pressure and pulse are monitored during this time. After the catheter is removed, subjects complete questionnaires about their pain, mood and activity.

For the several weeks between the two hospitalizations, subjects take either an opioid medication or placebo, or standard medication such as motrin and naprosyn, according to random assignment to one of the three groups. All participants will be allowed to take anti-inflammatory medications and acetaminophen during this time as needed, but no other pain medications or treatments. They are monitored two or three times a week by telephone and complete a pain diary.

After the second hospitalization, subjects are tapered off the study medication. After 2 to 4 weeks of stopping medication, they return for a final outpatient visit to review pain or other medical problems and to have blood drawn.

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1. Clinical evidence of chronic OA by history, examination and radiological examination

-a. Pain level of 4/10 or greater on a scale of 0 to 10 over a 2 week screening period

-b. Pain for a duration of 3 months or longer present at least 5 out of 7 days a week by history

-c. Radiographic evidence of moderate to severe OA in at least one joint selected for study based on the Kellgren and Lawrence scoring scale (Appendix I:Table 2)

2. Age between 30-65 at study entry. This age range was chosen as osteoarthritis is rare in people younger than 30 and to minimize the effect of the neuroendocrine changes associated with aging on study outcome measures.

3. Men of all ethnicities

4. Ability to provide his own consent and to cooperate with study procedures

5. Willingness to refrain from drinking alcohol during the study because alcohol may exacerbate the sedative effects of morphine

6. Willingness to refrain from using muscle relaxers, antiepileptic medications and antidepressants within 6 weeks of starting study procedures

7. Willingness not to be on opioids other than prescribed by the study for the duration of the study and willingness to come off of opioids six weeks prior to starting study procedures


1. Impaired pulmonary, renal, hepatic, cardiovascular or endocrine-metabolic function or major coexisting medical condition such as cancer, Cushing s disease, and diabetes which may make participation unsafe or interfere with hormone measurements

2. Prostatic disease or hypertrophy which would make subjects prone to urinary retention or require medication that would interfere with study hormone measurements

3. Sexual dysfunction including lack of libido, impotence or erectile abnormalities for safety reasons as these symptoms may be worsened by morphine

4. Rheumatoid arthritis other types of inflammatory arthritis

5. Use of systemic corticosteroids in the two months before study entry which might interfere with study hormone measurements

6. Present or past history of alcohol dependence which might predispose subjects to problems with opioid dependence based on 2 or more positive responses to the CAGE questionnaire (the latter group will be referred to psychiatry for further evaluation and excluded from study if found to fulfill psychiatric criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse)

7. Current usage of any recreational or unauthorized prescription drugs because this may indicate abuse potential based on positive urine drug test at study screening visit

8. History of opioid abuse at any time in the past based on patient report or a urine drug screen positive for opioids

9. Major depression based on a score of greater than or equal to 20 on the Beck Depression Inventory at screening, present history of major depression or treatment for major depression because these may effect endocrine function

10. Hct < 35; anemia or bleeding disorder because subjects will undergo serial blood sampling to assess hormone function

11. Allergy or inability to tolerate to morphine

12. Current or past fibromyalgia according to Wolfe criteria (1990)

13. Present or past history of sleep apnea because of increased risk of respiratory depression with morphine

14. Body mass index (BMI) > 30kg/m(2) and BMI < 20kg/m(2)

15. Local steroid injections during the study because weight has significant effects on hormone levels

16. Addition of or changes to complementary or alternative treatments during the study

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Joranson DE, Ryan KM, Gilson AM, Dahl JL. Trends in medical use and abuse of opioid analgesics. JAMA. 2000 Apr 5;28 (13):1710-4.

Bolelli G, Lafisca S, Flamigni C, Lodi S, Franceschetti F, Filicori M, Mosca R. Heroin addiction: relationship between the plasma levels of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, androstenedione, LH, FSH, and the plasma concentration of heroin. Toxicology. 1979 Dec;15(1):19-29.

Celani MF, Carani C, Montanini V, Baraghini GF, Zini D, Simoni M, Ferretti C, Marrama P. Further studies on the effects of heroin addiction on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal function in man. Pharmacol Res Commun. 1984 Dec;16(12):1193-203.

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Andrew J. Mannes, M.D.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
BG 10 RM 2C744
(301) 594-3427

Andrew J. Mannes, M.D.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
BG 10 RM 2C744
(301) 594-3427

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
Building 61
10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4754
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
TTY: 301-594-9774 (local),1-866-411-1010 (toll free)
Fax: 301-480-9793

Clinical Trials Number:


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