Ketamine: the past 30 years and its future
Radovanovic D, Pjevic M.
Institut za onkologiju,
21204 Sremska Kamenica,
Institutski put 4.
Med Pregl. 2003 Sep-Oct;56(9-10):439-45


INTRODUCTION: There are two isomers of ketamine: S(+) ketamine and R(-) ketamine. Effects of this drug are mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), opioid and muscarinic receptors. PHARMACOKINETICS: Due to its high lipid solubility and low protein binding, ketamine is extensively distributed in the body. Ketamine metabolism is mediated by hepatic microsomal enzymes. EFFECTS ON BODY SYSTEMS: Ketamine causes increased intracranial pressure, bronchodilation and stimulation of cardiovascular system. CLINICAL USE: ANESTHESIA: It is used for premedication, sedation, induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. Ketamine is an ideal anesthetic agent for trauma victims, patients with hypovolemic and septic shock, patients with pulmonary diseases. ANALGESIA: Even subanesthetic doses of ketamine have analgesic effects, so ketamine is also recommended for postoperative analgesia. Recent results show that ketamine is not always effective as an analgesic in treatment of chronic pain and that some side effects limit its use in patients with chronic pain. INTENSIVE CARE: Combination of ketamine and midazolam can be very useful and safe for sedation and pain relief in intensive care patients, especially during ventilator management. Ketamine may be the anesthetic of choice for painful procedures in intensive care units.
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
'My beloved chloroform'
'The secularisation of pain'
Ketamine - dreams and realities
Ketamine as an intravenous anaesthetic
Antihyperalgesic effect of low dose ketamine
Volatile anesthetics and NMDA glutamate receptors
Ketamine attenuates acute tolerance to analgesic effect of opioids
Schizophrenia, dissociative anaesthesia and near-death experience

and further reading
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World