Acta Médica Costarricense
Print version ISSN 0001-6012
Patients with cancer suffer moderate to severe pain during the course of their disease, mainly during the terminal phase. The World Health Organization Pain Relief Ladder has been used as a therapeutic guide for the treatment of these patients, which uses 3 kinds of drugs: opioids, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and adjuvants. Ketamine is one of the latter; it is a phencyclidine derivative that interacts with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Traditionally it has been used as an anesthesia induction drug, and subanesthetic doses are used for relief of pain refractory to opioids.
Keywords : pain; cancer; analgesia; ketamine.