Pain management for chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

Pain management for chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis

Michelle Bennett Clinical nurse specialist, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham Children’s Hospital, Nottingham

The number of children and young people diagnosed with cancer is increasing every year. Pain is a significant side effect of disease, surgery and treatments including chemotherapy. After a course of intensive chemotherapy, some children develop oral mucositis, a debilitating condition causing bleeding, pain and inflammation. Moderate and severe mucositis pain is treated with continued good oral hygiene and parenteral analgesia. The aim of this article is to identify challenges in managing chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis pain in children, and to highlight the benefits of adding ketamine as an adjuvant analgesic. A small number of studies and case reports in children have examined ketamine for cancer pain and have demonstrated its successful use in the treatment of chronic pain conditions. However, there remtains a paucity of data about the efficacy of continuous low dose ketamine administration in children with cancer. Further studies are required to establish its benefits to support the addition of ketamine to the World Health Organization’s analgesic ladder.

Nursing Children and Young People. 28, 10, 25-29. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2016.e695


Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 25 August 2015

Accepted: 14 October 2016

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now