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Clinical Uses of Low-Dose Ketamine in Patients Undergoing Surgery

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Ketamine acts mainly as a N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) antagonist. Originally developed as a general anesthetic, it is now seldom employed as such in richer countries due to the relatively high risk of psychotomimetic adverse effects. Recently, low-dose regimens in the range of 0.25-0.5 mg/kg as an initial bolus followed by 50-500 μg/kg/h have been proposed as an adjuvant for postoperative analgesia and for the reduction of exogenous opioid-induced hyperalgesia. In this review, we examine the evidence for clinical usefulness of perioperative ketamine infusion and its role in the context of general and/or regional anesthesia.

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Keywords: Ketamine; analgesia; analgesics; non-narcotic; pain; perioperative care; postoperative

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2009

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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