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A review of the use of ketamine in pain management

Qutaiba A. Tawfic, MBChB, FIBMS (Anesthesiology)


Ketamine is a noncompetitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. It has been widely used in anesthesia and pain management. Ketamine has been administered via the intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, oral, rectal, topical, intranasal, sublingual, epidural, and caudal routes. Ketamine improves postoperative and posttrauma pain scores and reduces opioid consumption. It has special indication for patients with opioid tolerance, acute hyperalgesia, and neuropathic pain. It also has a role in the management of chronic pain including both cancer and noncancer pain. Recreational use of ketamine is increasing as well through different routes of administration like inhalation, smoking, or intravenous injection. Long-time exposure to ketamine, especially in the abusers, may lead to serious side effects. This review is trying to define the role of ketamine in pain management.


ketamine, pain, review

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