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J Drugs Dermatol. 2013 Mar;12(3):308-10.

Topical amitriptyline combined with ketamine for the treatment of erythromelalgia: a retrospective study of 36 patients at Mayo Clinic.

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Mayo Medical School, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.



Erythromelalgia is an uncommon neurovascular disorder characterized by redness, increased skin temperature, and pain that usually occurs in the extremities. Treatment remains challenging because of its varying response to medical therapy. The objective of this study was to assess the response of erythromelalgia to compounded topical amitriptyline-ketamine.


We retrospectively evaluated 36 patients with erythromelalgia who were treated with compounded topical amitriptyline-ketamine from January 1, 2004, through January 31, 2011.


Thirty-two patients (89%) were female. Mean (standard deviation) age was 44.7 (15.8) years (range, 5-74 years). Patients applied the medication 1 to 6 times per day (median, 5 times). One patient (3%) had complete relief from symptoms, 14 (39%) had substantial relief, 12 (33%) had some relief, 7 (19%) had no relief, and 2 (6%) had local worsening of symptoms. No patients had systemic adverse effects.


A majority of patients with erythromelalgia (75%) reported improvement in pain with topical application of a compounded amitriptyline-ketamine formulation. The medication was well tolerated.

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