Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic, is a hallucinogen that causes an individual to detach from reality. Commonly used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine, it produces relaxation and relieves pain in humans and animals.

Uses of Ketamine

Medical professionals use ketamine to induce and maintain the effects of general anesthesia before, during, and after surgery. There are two methods of delivering ketamine, injecting it into a muscle or giving it through an intravenous (IV) line.

Ketamine, classified as a safe anesthetic, does not decrease blood pressure or reduce breathing rate. Most doctors practicing in disaster zones and in developing nations prefer to use ketamine, as it does not require oxygen, an electric supply, or a highly trained staff.

The Various Procedures Doctors Use Ketamine

Medical professionals use ketamine to perform the following procedures:

  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Diagnostic procedures on the nose, throat, ear, and eye
  • Minor surgical interventions such as dental extractions
  • Orthopedic procedures
  • Skin grafts

In other instances ketamine has been used for patients diagnosed with epilepticus (SE), a condition that can cause brain damage and death. Also, doctors use it as analgesic, administering it in low doses to relieve pain. Another use for ketamine is its ability to treat severe depression.

Ketamine and Depression

Ketamine treats severe depression by temporarily high jacking a certain chemical receptor in the brain, however, more research into this is yet to be done. Researchers studying ketamine for the treatment of depression are looking into participants who have tried other treated or who are admitted in the hospital and have developed suicidal tendencies.

Research has uncovered if it used intravenously, it may be the one of most important discoveries in antidepressant treatment. Presently, the FDA has not approved of the use or sale of ketamine as an antidepressant drug and even after extensive research and evidence on its use for depression treatment becomes available, people will not be able to get it at their local pharmacy.