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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Oct 2020 - 9 Oct 2020

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Oct 05

J Physiol

Low dose ketamine reduces pain perception and blood pressure, but not muscle sympathetic nerve activity, responses during a cold pressor test.


Watso JC, Huang M, Moralez G, Cramer MN, Hendrix JM, Cimino FA, Belval LN, Hinojosa-Laborde C, Crandall CG
J Physiol. 2020 Oct 05.
PMID: 33017047.


Low dose ketamine is a leading medication used to provide analgesia in pre-hospital and hospital settings. Low dose ketamine is increasingly used off-label to treat conditions such as depression. In animals, ketamine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and increases blood pressure, but these physiological consequences have not been studied in conscious humans. Our data suggest that low dose ketamine administration blunts pain perception and reduces blood pressure, but not muscle sympathetic nerve activity burst frequency, responses during a cold pressor test in healthy humans. These mechanistic, physiological results inform risk-benefit analysis for clinicians administering low dose ketamine in humans.