Adding ketamine to fentanyl fails to reduce pain in trauma

Medscape highlights UC-led research study

Medscape highlighted research led by the University of Cincinnati's Jason McMullan, MD, that found adding intranasal ketamine to fentanyl does not improve pain scores in patients with out-of-hospital trauma injuries.

The research was recently published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The team conducted a randomized clinical trial of 192 patients requiring out-of-hospital pain medication for acute traumatic injuries. Participants received standard care treatment with fentanyl followed by a single intranasal dose of either 50 mg of ketamine or a placebo.

Researchers found there was no statistically significant difference between the ketamine and placebo groups, and pain over 3 hours of emergency department care did not differ at any point between the two groups.

"Although adding intranasal ketamine did not prove effective in any measured outcome, ketamine did not increase the risk of important adverse events. Importantly, we observed no difference in sedation after receiving ketamine and fentanyl, and no episodes of laryngospasm or emergence phenomenon occurred," the study authors wrote.

Read the Medscape article.

Featured photo at top of ketamine vial. Photo/Jennifer Fontan/iStock.

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