UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Topical ketamine for chronic pain syndromes

Keywords: ketamine, pain (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/27/2012 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 6/16/2024)
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

Despite a paucity of data, pain management clinics are administering topical gel mixtures that have included ketamine, tricyclics, calcium channel blockers and baclofen. Internet blogs have already identified this gel mixture as a way to "get high".  This is one of those google searches you have to do on your own.



  1: Lynch ME, Clark AJ, Sawynok J, Sullivan MJ. Topical 2% amitriptyline and 1%  ketamine in neuropathic pain syndromes: a randomized, double-blind,  placebo-controlled trial. Anesthesiology. 2005 Jul;103(1):140-6.     2: Lynch ME, Clark AJ, Sawynok J. A pilot study examining topical amitriptyline, ketamine, and a combination of both in the treatment of neuropathic pain. Clin J Pain. 2003 Sep-Oct;19(5):323-8.    3: Uzaraga I, Gerbis B, Holwerda E, Gillis D, Wai E. Topical amitriptyline,  ketamine, and lidocaine in neuropathic pain caused by radiation skin reaction: a pilot study. Support Care Cancer. 2012 Jul;20(7):1515-24.