Oral Ketamine Mouthwash: Treatment of Severe Mucositis Pain

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Oral Ketamine Mouthwash: Treatment of Severe Mucositis Pain

Ketamine mouthwashes found to be clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction in pain scores. They have an acceptable safety profile and can be a useful adjunctive treatment in the multi-modal management of severe mucositis.

Mucositis is one of the most common complications of chemotherapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation. About 40% of chemotherapy patients are known to suffer from mucositis, a condition of inflammation and ulceration of the mucosal tissues. A patient face several problems due to mucositis such as pain, incapable of drinking or eating or talking. For relieving its intense pain, ketamine mouthwashes can be used. However, its supporting evidence is confined.

Therefore, scientists conducted an open-label, prospective, phase II interventional study (NCT01566448) to evaluate the effect of ketamine on mucositis pain. This study was conducted from February 2012 to July 2015. The patients who were in grade 3 or 4 oral mucositis due to cancer therapy were included in the study. The grades were decided according to the World Health Organization (WHO) scale.  These patients received 20 mg/5 ml ketamine mouthwash four times daily and every 4 h as desired.

A total of 30 patients were enlisted for evaluation. With these patients, a total of 136 valuations were organized. During the evaluation, after 1 h and 3 days, a statistically significant decrease of 2 and 3 points was seen in pain scores, respectively. The reduction in pain scores up to 1 and 4 points were also noticed during swallowing at t 1-h and 3-day assessment, respectively. No adverse effects were observed during the study.

Therefore, it is figured out from the evaluation that ketamine mouthwashes are very beneficial clinically and also statistically in reducing pain due to mucositis and can be significantly used as a supporting treatment in the multi-modal management of severe mucositis.


Supportive Care in Cancer

Link to the source:


Original title of article:

Treatment of severe mucositis pain with oral ketamine mouthwash


Alexandra Shillingburg; et al.

Therapeutic, ketamine, mucositis pain, mouth, dissociative anesthetic, open-label, prospective, phase II interventional study, symptomatic, efficacy, oral
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