Vol 14, No 3 (2020)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-08-17

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Ketamine — a unique adjuvant drug in pain treatment

Anna Rupniewska-Ładyko1
Palliat Med Pract 2020;14(3):192-197.


Ketamine is an anaesthetic with unique properties. Synthesised for the first time in the early 1960s, it causes
dissociative anaesthesia, sedation, amnesia, and analgesia. Due to hallucinogenic effects, the use of the
drug was significantly reduced in the 1980s. At present, ketamine is used to treat acute and chronic pain,
especially pain resistant to other pain management methods. Ketamine can be effective in the treatment
of chronic neuropathic pain syndromes, prevention of secondary hyperalgesia in burn injuries, treatment
of muscle pain in patients with fibromyalgia, metastatic bone pain and treatment of pain caused by oral

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