Ketamine: an Old Drug Commonly Used in Clinical Practice

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Somchai Amornyotin


Ketamine, an old intravenous anesthetic, is a non-narcotic and non-barbiturate drug. It has been there in clinical anesthesia practice for more than sixty years. Importantly, it plays an invaluable role in the developing countries including Thailand. Ketamine mainly works by non-competitive antagonist at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. It has several properties of the ideal anesthetic agent. Ketamine was formerly used as a sole agent for anesthesia, inducing analgesia, amnesia, loss of consciousness and immobility. Therefore, its properties are interesting in various clinical settings, although it can produce the psychological adverse effects.

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