Tracheal intubation is a foremost cause of trauma to the airway mucosa, resulting in postoperative sore throat (POST) with reported incidences of 21-65%. We compared the effectiveness of ketamine gargles with placebo in preventing POST after endotracheal intubation. Forty-six, ASA I-II, patients undergoing elective surgery for septorhinoplasty under general anaesthesia were enrolled in this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind study. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups of 23 subjects each: Group C, saline 30 ml; Group K, ketamine 40 mg in saline 30 ml. Patients were asked to gargle this mixture for 30 s, 5 min before induction of anaesthesia. POST was graded at 0, 2, 4, and 24 h after operation on a four-point scale (0-3). POST occurred more frequently in Group C, when compared with Group K, at 0, 2, and 24 h and significantly more patients suffered severe POST in Group C at 4 and 24 h compared with Group K (P<0.05). Ketamine gargle significantly reduced the incidence and severity of POST.