Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Does low dose oral ketamine have oxytocic effect?

O Okorie, OA Babah, MB Aderolu


Objectives: To evaluate if low dose oral Ketamine has oxytotic effect on term pregnant uterus.
Methodology: This is a cross sectional double blind placebo control prospective study. A total of 745 parturients were studied, 261 had low dose oral Ketamine in active phase of labour (group A), 227 had Oxytocin augmentation (group B) and 257 had none of these medication (control group C). Their age, parity, gestational age, duration of labour and APGAR score were determined and all data analyzed using Epi Info.
Results: The parturients were predominantly within the age group 26 – 35 years and their mean gestational age at delivery was 39.1weeks. The mean (± S.D.) duration of labour ( first stage of labour) was found to be shortest in group A 5.80 ± 2.06 hours, while it was 8.03 ± 3.37 hours in group B and 7.01 ± 3.25 hours in group C. Foetal outcome was comparable in all the three groups.
Conclusion: Low dose oral Ketamine probably has an Oxytocic effect which needs to be explored in future research. And if this be the case, then it will be a suitable and safe single agent for labour analgesia and augmentation and for extended use in repairs of episiotomy and perineal tears.

Key words: Oral Ketamine, low dose, oxytocic effect, labour duration, foetal outcome.

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