Prevention of post-tonsillectomy pain with analgesic doses of ketamine

Murray W.B. ; Yankelowitz S.M. ; Le Roux M. ; Bester H.F. (1987)


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The prevention of postoperative pain in children who had undergone tonsillectomy was investigated in a double-blind trial. Ketamine (Ketalar; Parke-Davis) 0.5 mg/kg was given intravenously before the operation to 20 children and saline to a control group of 20 children. Premedication consisted of oral trimeprazine 4 mg/kg given 2 hours pre-operatively. The anaesthetic technique was standardised. There were no significant differences between the groups pre- or intra-operatively. Postoperatively there were significant differences in the measurement of pain but not in that of sedation. No hallucinations were encountered in those receiving ketamine. It is concluded that analgesic doses of ketamine are safe and effective.

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