Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used medically for induction and maintenance of anesthesia. It is also used as a treatment for depression, a pain management tool, and as a recreational drug. Ketamine is a novel compound that was derived from phencyclidine in 1962, in pursuit of a safer anesthetic with fewer hallucinogenic effects.
At anesthetic doses, ketamine induces a state of "dissociative anesthesia", a trance-like state providing pain relief, sedation, and amnesia. The distinguishing features of ketamine anesthesia are preserved breathing and airway reflexes, stimulated heart function with increased blood pressure, and moderate bronchodilation. At lower, sub-anesthetic doses, ketamine is a promising agent for pain and treatment-resistant depression. However, as with many antidepressants, the results of a single administration of ketamine wane with time. The long-term effects of repeated use are largely unknown, and a