Is there nothing ketamine can’t do?

As well as the benefits of cardiovascular stability, maintenance of cerebral perfusion pressure, possibly lowering ICP and providing other neuroprotective benefits, ketamine may have other advantages. These are reviewed in a British Journal of Anaesthesia article from which I’ve selected those benefits of interest to practitioners of emergency medicine and critical care.



Additional Beneficial Effects of Ketamine

  • the dysphoric, or ’emergence’ reactions associated with ketamine may be reduced by pre-administration or co-administration of sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, propofol, dexmedetomidine, or droperidol.

  • ketamine potentiates opioid analgesia in multiple settings, reducing opioid total dose and in some groups of patients reducing postoperative desaturation

  • ketamine has possible anti-inflammatory effects demonstrated in some types of surgical patients

  • ketamine may prevent awareness, recall, or both during general anaesthesia

Ketamine: new uses for an old drug?
Br J Anaesth. 2011 Aug;107(2):123-6

One thought on “Is there nothing ketamine can’t do?”

  1. thanks Cliff

    You can also add ketamine has a rapid antidepressant effect and in one pilot study in 2010 reduced suicidality in ED setting ( patients that is not the doctors!)

    And as you know from my aeromedical research, it is a useful sedation agent in the agitated patient, even ones with frank psychosis.

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