Overview

Ketamine is a drug that is increasingly being used in palliative care as an adjunct medication for pain management. As an N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, ketamine provides anesthesia at higher doses, and analgesia at lower doses. This analgesia provided by low dose ketamine can be a useful tool for palliative care clinicians, particularly in cases of refractory and often opioid-resistant pain. However, clinical practices for ketamine use regarding dosing, frequency, and route vary. In this Master Clinician session, Beth Jeffrey, MD, and Drew Rosielle, MD, will review ketamine pharmacology and current evidence for its use in palliative care pain management. Additionally, they will discuss documented dosing protocols and share their clinical experience in using ketamine in both inpatient and outpatient palliative care settings.

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