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AAN 2024 | IV ketamine for treating pediatric headache

Scott Rosenthal, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, comments on the potential of intravenous (IV) ketamine for the treatment of refractory pediatric headache. Ketamine is showing promise for patients who have failed traditional therapies or have contraindications, which means they require alternative treatment approaches. In the study discussed by Dr Rosenthal, the efficacy and tolerability of ketamine were assessed in a pediatric population aged 5-21 years, with a median age of 16 years. A continuous ketamine protocol of up to three days of IV ketamine resulted in a clinically significant pain reduction at the time of discharge and did not lead to the occurrence of any serious adverse events. Over two-thirds of patients experienced a longer-term benefit in that recurrence was not experienced in the month following treatment. Dr Rosenthal also highlights the barriers to conducting randomized control trials in a pediatric population to investigate the drug further. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting 2024 in Denver, CO.

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