Ketamine

The most exciting treatment to come to the fore - Mason Turner

Ketamine

image by: The Infusionist: IV & Ketamine Therapy

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From Popular Anesthetic to Antidepressant, Ketamine Isn’t the Drug You Think It Is


Ketamine’s use as an anesthetic — and not as a party drug — is widespread, though not commonly known. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates ketamine is the most widely used anesthetic in the world and keeps it on their list of essential medicines, a category of drugs that all developed countries should have on hand. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that what could turn out to be ketamine’s most important function was discovered. A team from Yale University School of Medicine was examining the role of glutamate, a common neurotransmitter, in depression, and discovered something remarkable: ketamine could rapidly relieve depression symptoms.

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  From Popular Anesthetic to Antidepressant, Ketamine Isn’t the Drug You Think It Is

In 1962, chemistry professor Calvin Stevens discovered a PCP analogue that fit the bill: ketamine. Ketamine is a potent, sedating painkiller that can cause amnesia and is mostly used in surgery and veterinary medicine. During the Vietnam Invasion, ketamine saw widespread use in the U.S. military because it has several advantages over opioids. First, unlike morphine, ketamine doesn’t suppress blood pressure or breathing. It also doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it useful in the field or in rural areas that don’t have access to electricity.

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