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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 1317-1324

A review on the recent application of ketamine in management of anesthesia, pain, and health care

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Kowsar Hospital, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran
2 Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Research Center, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Babak Hosseinzadeh Zoroufchi
Department of Anesthesiology, Kowsar Hospital, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_875_19

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Ketamine is considered as a promising drug for many clinical applications even after five decades since its discovery. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic agent with a variety of pharmacological effects from anesthetic induction and maintenance to analgesic and sedative depending on the consuming dose. It can be used solely or in combination with other co-adjuvant drugs, increasing their efficacy. Many therapeutic properties of ketamine have been attributed to its antagonism mechanism to N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor. Identifying new properties of ketamine such as neuroprotective, antiinflammatory, and antitumor effects, on one hand, and taking advantage of subanesthetic regimens of ketamine, on the other hand, have resulted in a widespread use of ketamine in various clinical applications. Ketamine is solvable in aqueous and lipid solutions, providing convenient administration via multiple routes, including oral, nasal, rectal, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, transdermal, sublingual, and intraosseous administration. Application of ketamine has some advantages over other sedative and anesthetic agents. It produces bronchodilation status, allowing for most secure induction of anesthesia in patients with life-threatening asthma and intense acute bronchial constriction. Ketamine has an excellent hemodynamic profile, makes it the agent of choice for patients with unstable hemodynamics, such as shocked or hypotensive patients. Ketamine usage has been associated with a lower risk of respiratory depression and relatively more conserved airway reflexes. Although being an anesthetic agent, ketamine has been increasingly used in subanesthetic doses for acute and chronic pain as well as depression. Using ketamine in pre and postoperative pain management is well established. However, the studies on ketamine performance in pain management demonstrated contradicting results. On the other hand, various side effects along with no confirmatory data on long-term treatment demand great caution when using ketamine for treating complex chronic pains. The present study aimed to provide a general review on the recent applications of ketamine in anesthesia, pain management, and critical care.

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