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The Use of Ketamine as Rescue Analgesia in the Recovery Room Following Opioid Administration. A Double-blind Randomised Trial in Postoperative Patients

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00163969
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 14, 2005
Last Update Posted : January 15, 2016
Information provided by:
Bayside Health

Brief Summary:
This clinical trial will determine if postoperative patients who have postoperative pain, which has been refractory to morphine administration, will have improved pain relief following a bolus administration of ketamine as compared with an ongoing morphine dosing regimen

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Post Operative Pain Drug: ketamine Phase 4

Detailed Description:

Some patients require large doses of opioids to control postoperative pain, which can result in a prolonged period of poor pain control, and potentially increased side effects associated with large morphine doses. This may be due to insufficient morphine dose to that individual or acute tolerance ( 1 ). Ketamine is not just an anaesthetic agent but at lower doses is known to provide efficacious analgesia ( 2, 3 ). Ketamine has been shown to have a marked analgesic effect on high intensity nociceptive stimuli ( 4 ) as exhibited in postoperative pain. When given for opioid analgesia resistant cancer pain in bolus doses at two different concentrations it has been shown to be effective and have a morphine-sparing effect, without undue complications ( 5 ).

Ketamine has been suggested to work pre-emptively and also by many other routes other than intravenously ( 6 - 9 ) .

Previous studies have compared morphine with morphine and ketamine administered as PCA or intramuscularly ( 10 - 12 ) in postoperative patients with varying effects. Javery et al. ( 11 ) showed that pain scores were lower in patients who received ketamine but Reeves et al. in a later but similar study showed no significant difference ( 13 ).

The authors have noted that in the postoperative situation with morphine resistant pain, a bolus dose of ketamine not only leads to a marked decline in pain but it also remains efficacious for several hours. This prolonged effect was also noted in opioid resistant cancer pain ( 5 ). This indeed may have relevance to the prevention of onset of chronic post surgical pain ( 14 ) and earlier discharge from the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit.

Morphine and ketamine are not without side effects. Respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and vivid dreams, being well documented will hence be a secondary endpoint. A quality of recovery score will also be measured ( 15 ) and four hours postoperatively.

This study is designed to compare a morphine regimen in the form of a standard Post Anaesthetic Care Unit pain protocol with a bolus dose of ketamine to be implemented if the pain protocol has been inadequate. Any patient in pain, despite two doses of morphine will be included. Thereafter the patients will be randomised to receive either a further solution of ketamine or continuation of the morphine protocol. This randomised, double-blinded, trial will be based in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit under close anaesthetic and nursing staff supervision.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 40 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Use of Ketamine as Rescue Analgesia in the Recovery Room Following Opioid Administration. A Double-blind Randomised Trial in Postoperative Patients.
Study Start Date : April 2002
Study Completion Date : September 2004

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Drug Information available for: Ketamine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Pain scores at rest in recovery and at four hours postoperatively

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Morphine protocol consumption.
  2. Sedation scores - Recovery Room and four hours.
  3. PONV scores - Recovery Room and four hours.
  4. Frequency of antiemetic administration - Recovery Room and up to four hours.
  5. Quality of recovery score preoperatively and at four hours.
  6. Adverse events (vivid dreams, nausea, hallucinations, respiratory depression, pruritus) - Recovery Room and at four hours.
  7. Time to discharge from the recovery room.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 1. Those patients requiring the routine pain protocol to be implemented as used in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit who need more than two doses of morphine (and having received intraoperative morphine).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Exclusion Criteria

    1. Known allergy to morphine or ketamine.
    2. Past history of major psychiatric disturbance or currently taking psychiatric medication/s.
    3. Chronic morphine usage.
    4. Chronic pain syndrome or chronic painful medical condition.
    5. Unable to obtain a reliable pain score in recovery due to language barriers or residual anaesthesia.
    6. Known pregnancy.
    7. Cases where primary anaesthetist prefers alternate therapy.
    8. Aged less than 18 years.
    9. Weight less than 50 kilograms or greater than 100 kilograms.
    10. Use of ketamine intraoperatively.
    11. Use of major regional block.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00163969

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Australia, Victoria
The Alfred Commercial Rd Prahran
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3181
Sponsors and Collaborators
Bayside Health
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Principal Investigator: David E Lindholm, MBBS FANZCA The Alfred
Macrae W A, Davies H T O Chronic post surgical pain Epidemiology of Pain edited by Crombie I K. IASP Press. Seattle 1999. 125 - 142

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00163969    
Other Study ID Numbers: 161/01
First Posted: September 14, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 15, 2016
Last Verified: September 2005
Keywords provided by Bayside Health:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Pain, Postoperative
Postoperative Complications
Pathologic Processes
Neurologic Manifestations
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anesthetics, Dissociative
Anesthetics, Intravenous
Anesthetics, General
Central Nervous System Depressants
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action