What is ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that was introduced into clinical practice in the 1960s. More recently, ketamine has shown promise in the field of psychiatry as a treatment for disorders like depression and anxiety.

Medical professionals began noticing and studying ketamine’s ability to rapidly alleviate depression and suicidal thoughts around 2000. Studies conducted over the next several years indicated that ketamine could be a promising and viable alternative treatment for a variety of psychiatric conditions- even at low, subanesthetic doses.

Over the last decade, an increasing number of clinicians have begun to prescribe ketamine off-label as a mental health treatment, and in 2019, the FDA approved esketamine (a derivative of ketamine) for treatment-resistant depression.

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