As well as the benefits of cardiovascular stability, maintenance of cerebral perfusion pressure, possibly lowering ICP and providing other neuroprotective benefits, ketamine may have other advantages. These are reviewed in a British Journal of Anaesthesia article from which I’ve selected those benefits of interest to practitioners of emergency medicine and critical care.
Additional Beneficial Effects of Ketamine
- the dysphoric, or ’emergence’ reactions associated with ketamine may be reduced by pre-administration or co-administration of sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, propofol, dexmedetomidine, or droperidol.
- ketamine potentiates opioid analgesia in multiple settings, reducing opioid total dose and in some groups of patients reducing postoperative desaturation
- ketamine has possible anti-inflammatory effects demonstrated in some types of surgical patients
- ketamine may prevent awareness, recall, or both during general anaesthesia
Ketamine: new uses for an old drug?
Br J Anaesth. 2011 Aug;107(2):123-6