June 24, 2016 – Use for Ketamine


Anchor lead:  Could ketamine be used instead of opioids for relieving pain? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Ketamine, an inexpensive and effective agent used for anesthesia during surgery, may also have a role in pain relief afterward, a recent study finds.  Kevin Gerold, a critical care medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says right now, that role is limited to those who are still in the hospital.

Gerold: Ketamine would be limited in the ability to use it as an outpatient. Although it can be given orally, it can be given nasally, it is usually given either intravenously or intramuscularly. It does have abuse potential and it is a controlled substance, so it’s regulated like narcotics.  Ketamine is a PCP analogue to it can cause certainly in higher doses can cause hallucinations and altered mental status.  :25

Gerold says our current national crisis of prescription opioid addiction and overdose death has brought ketamine more sharply into focus for many, so a formulation that might be used on an outpatient basis may be forthcoming.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.