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Ketamine and Morphine Versus Morphine Alone for the Treatment of Acute Pain in the Emergency Department

Information source: University of Arizona
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Acute Pain

Intervention: Ketamine (Drug); Morphine (Drug); placebo (Drug)

Phase: N/A

Status: Recruiting

Sponsored by: University of Arizona

Overall contact:
Matthew Berkman, MD, Phone: (520) 626-5510, Email: mberkman@aemrc.arizona.edu


Our goal is to study whether giving people low dose ketamine along with morphine when they come to the Emergency Department will help their pain more than giving morphine by itself. There have been many studies showing that low dose ketamine is safe and effective for pain control. Ketamine is frequently used for pain control in ambulances and helicopters transporting injured patients to the hospital and has also been used for pain control in people who have just had surgery. The investigators would like to see if low dose ketamine would be safe and effective for patients with pain in the Emergency Department. Patients are eligible for the study if they come to the Emergency Department and their treating physician decides to treat them with morphine (with certain exceptions such as pregnant patients and patients with eye injuries). They will be given information about participating in the study and if they agree, they will be given the study drug. The study drug will be either ketamine or salt water (saline). If patients continue to be in pain they will continue to receive doses of morphine just as they would if they were not in the study. If the treating physician feels that morphine alone is not enough, they will be free to choose another pain medication as they would normally.

Clinical Details

Official title: Ketamine and Morphine Versus Morphine Alone for the Treatment of Acute Pain in the Emergency Department

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Change in Numeric pain score

Secondary outcome:

Total amount of morphine and other pain medications administered

Number of participants with adverse events

Adequate pain control at 30 minutes

Adequate Pain control at 1 hour


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Presenting to Emergency Department in acute pain

- age 18 and over

- determined to require morphine for pain control by treating physician

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients presenting with headache or head injury

- Patient with eye injury or eye pain

- Nontraumatic chest Pain

- Pregnant patients or women of childbearing potential

- Patients allergic to morphine or ketamine

- Patients with known history of narcotic/alcohol abuse or presenting for narcotic

medication refill

- Patients with hypertension: diastolic blood pressure > 100 OR systolic blood pressure

> 180

- Patient whose pain is so severe that they are unable to give informed consent

- Patients who have had bad experiences to prior hallucinations from any origin

Locations and Contacts

Matthew Berkman, MD, Phone: (520) 626-5510, Email: mberkman@aemrc.arizona.edu

University of Arizona Health Network University Campus 1501 North Campbell Ave, Tucson, Arizona 85724, United States; Recruiting
Matthew Berkman, MD, Principal Investigator
Additional Information

Starting date: June 2013
Last updated: July 12, 2013

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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