Bell, R.F., Eccleston, C., & Kalso, E.A. (2012). Ketamine as an adjuvant to opioids for cancer pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD003351.doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003351.pub2
To determine the efficacy and adverse effects of ketamine as an adjuvant to opioids in the treatment of cancer pain
A total of 120 references were retrieved. Studies were selected based on criteria, assessed independently, reviewed by two reviewers, and chosen for inclusion by three independent reviewers.
Current evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits and harms of ketamine as an adjuvant to opioids in the relief of cancer pain because of the small number of trials with low sample sizes.
Although studies suggest that ketamine may be a helpful adjuvant therapy to improve pain and decrease opioid requirements in patients with cancer, more studies are needed with larger sample sizes and control groups. Evidence is lacking to recommend ketamine in practice.