Comparison of Treatment by IN Ketamine to IV Morphine in Acute Pain

Brief Summary

Patients who present with acute traumatic injuries in the pre-hospital setting or to the emergency department (ED) are treated with opioids, the current gold standard for severe acute pain therapy. Treatment with opioids has many disadvantages: the need of skilled manpower to administer the medication IV, numerous side effects- mainly cardiorespiratory depression- which necessitates post medication administration continuous monitoring of patients. IV administration may be difficult or impossible to provide in a number of extreme circumstances. For these reasons, there is a constant search for alternate treatment options for pain in acute traumatic injuries. IN ketamine has only recently been studied favorably in our department in adults, in an open, prospective study (Shimonovich at al 2016), and warrants further investigation in the setting of acute traumatic pain. Ketamine is a safe and efficacious analgesic and is overall well received both by patients and physicians. Side effects include: hallucinations and dissociation. As opposed to opioids, ketamine does not alter patients' respiratory and hemodynamic stability giving ketamine great therapeutic potential for pain reduction in trauma patients, pre-hospital patients, and battlefield injuries. The study we are conducting is designed to test and analyze the safety and efficacy of IN Ketamine compared to IV morphine in a setting of acute traumatic pain in the ED, when both medications are administered by the protocol as is customary for treatment of pain in the Emergency Medicine department, and will be a prospective, randomized, double blind, controlled study.

Intervention / Treatment

  • Drug: Morphine
  • Drug: Ketamine

Condition or Disease

  • Acute Traumatic Pain


Study Design

Study type: Interventional
Status: Unknown status
Study results: No Results Available
Age: 18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Enrollment: 120 ()
Funded by: Other


Clinical Trial Dates

Start date: Dec 19, 2022
Primary Completion: Dec 21, 2022
Completion Date: Dec 21, 2022
Study First Posted: Apr 30, 2018
Results First Posted: Aug 31, 2020
Last Updated: Jun 25, 2019

Sponsors / Collaborators

Lead Sponsor: N/A
Responsible Party: N/A


The procedure:

  1. Eligible patients will be identified by the ED personnel. They will make sure to inquire about and also visually inspect the patient's nares regarding nasal congestion, deviated septum, obstruction or injury.
  2. Research physician will address the patient, explain about the trial and ask the patient to sign a consent form.
  3. The patient will be randomized and assigned to a trial group: "A" or "B" and it will be noted in the Data sheet.
  4. According to physician order (IV amount and IN amount) and patient group assignment, the nurse will prepare two blinded syringes that will be marked "A" or "B" (the assigned group) and "IN" or "IV" and note in the data sheet the time of syringe preparation.
  5. The IV syringe will contain either Morphine or Normal Saline (up to 10 ml), and the IN syringe will contain either Ketamine or Normal saline (up to 2 ml).
  6. The amount in the syringes will be calculated based on the patients' weight:

    IV-0.1 mg/kg: Morphine vial contains 10 mg/10 ml = 1mg/ml ----> 0.1 ml/kg IN-1 mg/kg: Ketamine vial contains 100 mg/2 ml = 50mg/ml ---> 0.02ml/kg

  7. Administration of the medication is limited to one hour from preparation in the syringe.
  8. The nurse will hand the syringes to the researcher (blinded and coded) and note in the data sheet the time of administration and the amount to administer IN and IV.
  9. Prior to administering medication to the patient the researcher will measure vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and O2 saturation) as well as pain level on a 100 mm VAS (visual analogue scale) questionnaire.
  10. After administration of medications the researcher will measure vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and O2 saturation) as well as pain level on a 100 mm VAS questionnaire every 5 minutes for the first 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes after that at 30, 45, 60, and 90 minutes.

    Saturation >95% on room air; if lower than 90%, the patient will be placed on 40% oxygen mask.

  11. Measurement of vital signs will not interfere with any other treatment that the patients receives for their injury in the ED.
  12. If the patient will be moved to another department from the ED, they will be withdrawn from the study.
  13. Cardiorespiratory follow-up (as per bullet point number 8 above), will be concluded at 1.5 hours post-intervention, and clinical follow-up will continue as long as the patient remains in the ED.
  14. 90 minutes after drug administration, if pain had not subsided sufficiently according to treating physician's clinical assessment, patient will receive further analgesic medications by physician order, as per ED protocol. The protocol takes into account concurrent medications (in this case either morphine or ketamine. Neither morphine nor ketamine will be used in these patients after test drug administration.

Eligibility Criteria

Sex: All
Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: 70

More Details

NCT Number: NCT03511833
Other IDs: TASMC-18-PH-0459-17-CTIL
Study URL:
Last updated: Jun 17, 2022