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Drug information

Ketamine

POM
Read time: 15 mins
Last updated: 28 Sep 2020
Published: 28 Sep 2020

4.1 Therapeutic indications

Ketamine is indicated in children and in adults

Ketamine is recommended:

As an anaesthetic agent for diagnostic and surgical procedures. When used by intravenous or intramuscular injection, Ketamine is best suited for short procedures. With additional doses, or by intravenous infusion, Ketamine can be used for longer procedures. If skeletal muscle relaxation is desired, a muscle relaxant should be used and respiration should be supported.

For the induction of anaesthesia prior to the administration of other general anaesthetic agents.

To supplement other anaesthetic agents.

Specific areas of application or types of procedures:

When the intramuscular route of administration is preferred.

Debridement, painful dressings, and skin grafting in burned patients, as well as other superficial surgical procedures.

Neurodiagnostic procedures such as pneumoencephalograms, ventriculograms, myelograms, and lumbar punctures.

Diagnostic and operative procedures of the eye, ear, nose, and mouth, including dental extractions.

Note: Eye movements may persist during ophthalmological procedures.

Anaesthesia in poor-risk patients with depression of vital functions or where depression of vital functions must be avoided, if at all possible.

Orthopaedic procedures such as closed reductions, manipulations, femoral pinning, amputations, and biopsies.

Sigmoidoscopy and minor surgery of the anus and rectum, circumcision and pilonidal sinus.

Cardiac catheterization procedures.

Caesarian section; as an induction agent in the absence of elevated blood pressure.

Anaesthesia in the asthmatic patient, either to minimise the risks of an attack of bronchospasm developing, or in the presence of bronchospasm where anaesthesia cannot be delayed.

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Drugs appearing in this section are approved by UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), & the European Medicines Agency (EMA).