I ask perplexity.ai about the clinical studies supporting the MME system

Here is a published MME calculator https://globalrph.com/medcalcs/morphine-equivalent-dose-med-opioid-conversions/   This is the infamous MME system that those “so-called experts” based their 2016 CDC opioid dosing guidelines and what many bureaucracies – like the DEA & VA – seemed to have codified those guidelines as a standard of care and best practices as well as maybe 30+ states have codified the same at the state level. 










This is a graphic representing the fictitious clinical facts that are starting to hit the fan

Does the Morphine Milligram Equivalent system have any clinical studies supporting its conclusions?

The Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) system has some clinical basis, but there are significant limitations and concerns about its scientific foundation and broad application:

1. Limited clinical evidence: The MME system is based on small clinical studies with limited populations[1][2]. These studies were originally intended to assist clinicians in determining initial doses when converting an individual patient’s opioid therapy, not as a broad risk assessment tool.

2. Lack of standardization: There is no single standard formula for calculating MMEs, leading to inconsistencies across different resources and calculators[2].

3. Oversimplification: The MME system does not adequately account for important patient and drug characteristics that can affect opioid potency and risk, such as opioid tolerance, pharmacogenetics, and differences between full and partial agonists[2].

4. Epidemiological support: While not directly validating MMEs, epidemiologic studies have shown an association between increasing daily opioid dose (measured in MMEs) and increasing risk of overdose[2]. However, these studies generally used broad MME threshold categories rather than precise conversions.

5. Concerns about misuse: Multiple experts have expressed concern that emphasizing specific MME thresholds as authoritative absolutes could lead to potentially harmful consequences, such as noncollaborative tapers[3].

6. Limited evidence for high doses: Few trials have evaluated opioid dosages of ≥90 MME/day, and there is some evidence of a plateauing effect at ≥50 mg MME/day in terms of pain relief[3].

7. Ongoing research needs: The FDA has recognized the need for further research to refine and improve the scientific basis of MME applications[1]. They held a workshop in 2021 to discuss knowledge gaps and research opportunities related to MMEs.

In summary, while the MME system has some clinical and epidemiological support, there are significant limitations in its evidence base and concerns about its broad application. More research is needed to address knowledge gaps and improve the scientific foundation of MME calculations and applications.

[1] https://www.fda.gov/drugs/news-events-human-drugs/morphine-milligram-equivalents-current-applications-and-knowledge-gaps-research-opportunities-and
[2] https://www.fda.gov/media/150436/download
[3] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/rr/rr7103a1.htm
[4] https://www.jprasurg.com/article/S1748-6815%2824%2900336-X/fulltext
[5] https://meps.ahrq.gov/data_files/publications/rf45/rf45.shtml



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