Comparative characteristics of ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate as adjuvant sedation in patients with alcoholic delirium

Keywords: delirium, alcohol withdrawal, sedation, ketamine, sodium oxybutyrate.


Annotation. Today, the number of benzodiazepine-resistant alcoholic deliriums is growing. It is actually to search for an optimal scheme of sedation with a combination of two sedatives. The aim of the study was to compare efficacy of standard sedation with added barbiturates and the schemes with using ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate. We tested 60 cases of delirium tremens which were randomized into three groups. In the control group we conducted the traditional sedation with added sodium thiopental. In the first research group we combined the infusion of ketamine with diazepam. In the second one we gave sodium oxybutyrate with diazepam. We evaluated the duration of delirium, hemodynamics parameters, serum cortisol and serotonin, laboratory indicators of kidneys and liver condition. We used such statistical methods as Mann-Whitney test, Wilcoxon T-criterion and Kruskal-Wallis H-criterion. The duration of delirium was significantly lower in research groups in comparison with the control one. There was no difference of the duration of delirium between research groups. It indicates a comparable effect of using either ketamine, or sodium oxybutyrate. All groups showed significant reduction of hemodynamics parameters in the process of the treatment, however we observed more cases of hypertension and tachycardia on the third day of the treatment in the research groups than in the control one. These data suggest an insufficient effect of the combination of diazepam with both ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate on the sympatho-adrenal system. Serum cortisol was significantly reduced in all the groups, there was no difference between control and research groups. Serotonin was equally increased in all the groups on the third day. The obtained results indicate that the effectiveness of the combination of benzodiazepines with both ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate is comparable to the standard sedation regimen and does not differ in the reaction of these biomarkers. The laboratory indicators of kidneys condition on the third day increased only in the research groups, which indicates more negative influence on kidneys by both ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate. The indicators of liver condition were significantly reduced only in the group of ketamine, there were no difference in the rest groups. The use of ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate as adjuvant sedation may reduce the duration of a delirium episode, but has insufficient effect on hemodynamics and may adversely affect renal function.


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How to Cite
Havrylov, O. O., Gomon, M. L., Slobodyanyuk, P. M., Holovatyi, H. V., Synyuchenko, O. V., & Kozyrev, S. N. (2021). Comparative characteristics of ketamine and sodium oxybutyrate as adjuvant sedation in patients with alcoholic delirium. Reports of Vinnytsia National Medical University, 25(3), 428-431.