Opioid Conversions


Approximate equi-analgesic potencies of opioids

oral administration

(Reviewed August 2020 to reflect current BNF figures)

  Potency  Equivalent dose to 10mg oral morphine
Codeine phosphate 0.1 100mg
Dihydrocodeine 0.1 100mg
Hydromorphone 5 2mg
Methadone * *
Morphine 1 10mg
Oxycodone 1.5 6.6mg
Tapentadol 0.4 25mg
Tramadol 0.1 100mg

* The relative potency of methadone depends on the starting dose and the duration of administration. Conversions to and from methadone should always be undertaken with specialist advice

Transdermal Opioids


Transdermal buprenorphine changed at weekly intervals

  5 microgram/hr 10 microgram/hr 20 microgram/hr
Codeine phosphate (mg/day) 120mg 240mg  
Morphine sulphate (mg/day) 12mg 24mg 48mg


Transdermal buprenorphine changed every three or four days (twice weekly)

  35 microgram/hr 52 microgram/hr 70 microgram/hr
Morphine sulphate (mg/day) 84mg 126mg 168mg


Fentanyl patch strength (microgram/hr) Oral morphine (mg/day)
12 30
25 60
50 120
75 180
100 240


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