Improvement of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome with Outpatient Ketamine Infusions

April 12, 2021

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition researchers David Levinthal, MD, PhD, AGAF, and David Binion, MD, and Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine researcher Trent Emerick, MD, MBA, recently published a report in Case Reports in Gastroenterology on using outpatient ketamine infusions as therapy for refractory cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS). 

Most patients with CVS respond well to traditional prophylactic and abortive treatments, but a smaller subset of CVS patients with chronic abdominal pain may not respond as well to standard therapies. 

In this case report, researchers describe a 63-year-old woman with history of CVS who presented with abdominal pain and recurrent episodes of nausea and vomiting. She first received ketamine during an inpatient admission for a CVS flare, with the aim of treating the abdominal pain. Given her improvement, she was offered a series of outpatient ketamine infusions, which led to a significant reduction in her symptoms.

Previous reports have shown the antiemetic effects of ketamine in the perioperative setting, and there is emerging evidence for the use of ketamine infusions for the treatment of chronic pain. However, this is the first case report to offer ketamine as a potential prophylactic treatment for CVS.

Read the full case report here