Background: This work summarizes the efficiency, failures and adverse effects of oral administration of ketamine at home for intractable pain.
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Methods: This 5-year retrospective study involved testing ketamine by intravenous in-hospital administration, then a conversion to an oral route, or oral treatment directly administered at home. The daily intravenous dose was increased by steps of 0.5 mg/kg to attain an effective daily dose of 1.5–3.0 mg/kg. Pain was evaluated on a numeric scale from 0 to 10, and evidence of adverse effects was collected every day. The effective daily dose was delivered orally (three to four intakes). If effective, ketamine was continued for 3 months. Short infusions or direct oral treatment began with a 0.5-mg/kg dose, then the daily ketamine dose was increased in 15- to 20-mg increments.