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Papers of the Week

2021 Feb 18

Expert Opin Drug Deliv

Ketamine-Polymer based drug delivery system for prolonged analgesia: Recent advances, challenges and future prospects.


: With a sharp increase in NSAIDs and opioid use for chronic pain conditions associated with traumatic injuries and diseases, there has been an escalated risk of life-threatening side effects (cardiac and respiratory malfunction), inadvertent overdose, and even death. Their short duration of action and toxicity induces the need to develop extended-release analgesic drug formulations based on safe drugs like ketamine. : This review presents progressive breakthroughs in pain control strategies for augmenting patient's comfort and minimizing unnecessary adverse effects associated with NSAIDs and opioids. Advantages of using ketamine; a dissociative anaesthetic and potent analgesic over opioids have been elaborated here for the development of advanced sustained-release analgesic drug formulations based on ketamine and polymers (hydrogels, microparticles, and nanoparticles) as mainstream systems. These systems can be very promising in the resource-constrained healthcare set-up where frequent drug dosing at short time intervals is extremely challenging. PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar electronic databases, and clinical websites were used for conducting extensive research. : Controlled drug release analgesic systems can significantly reduce the burden of repeated drug dosing and opioid drug dependency, maximizing the function of analgesic drugs for clinical translation, and improving the quality of life of those living with pain.