ketamine definition

Ketamine is a medication that was initially developed as an anesthetic agent and is classified as a dissociative anesthetic. It belongs to the class of drugs known as arylcyclohexylamines. Ketamine is known for its sedative, analgesic, and anesthetic properties.


Ketamine is commonly administered intravenously (IV) or intramuscularly (IM) in medical settings for surgical anesthesia, particularly in emergency or trauma situations. It works by blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, which play a role in pain perception and consciousness. This mechanism of action results in a dissociative state, where individuals may feel detached from their surroundings or experience alterations in perception, thoughts, and sensory experiences.


Beyond its anesthetic uses, ketamine has gained attention for its potential therapeutic effects in treating various conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain. It is believed that ketamine’s ability to modulate glutamate, an important neurotransmitter in the brain, may contribute to its antidepressant and analgesic effects.


Ketamine is a controlled substance in many countries due to its potential for abuse and recreational use. It is important to note that the recreational use of ketamine is illegal and can have significant health risks.


It’s essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for accurate information and guidance regarding the appropriate and legal use of ketamine for medical purposes.


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