Ketamine seems to be the new “it” drug. Pharmacist Victoria Arsenault returns to the podcast to discuss how Ketamine’s dissociative properties can be used as an analgesic, anesthetic, and antidepressant.
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There is tons of great information on the internet about Ketamine. The following is what was covered during the podcast episode:
- NMDA antagonist. Ketamine interferes with pain transmission in the spinal cord, producing an analgesic and anesthetic effect
- Ketamine’s mechanisms for anti depression are not well understood. Current theories postulate that Ketamine could be a serotonin-norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor or that Ketamine stimulates new synaptic connections.
- High dose Ketamine:
- Complete dissociation i.e. reduction maneuvers, intubation
- Acute agitation
- Low dose Ketamine:
- Treatment of major depressive disorder, PTSD, suicidal ideation
- Analgesia: acute and chronic pain
Side effects to look out for
- Laryngeal spasms
- Increased blood pressure
- Emergence reactions: hallucinations that can range from joyful or frightening
- Uncontrolled hypertension, tachycardia, or cardiac ischemia
- Psychiatric disorders: severe autism, schizophrenia, active psychosis
What’s cool about Ketamine
- Low risk for respiratory depression (no intubation!)
- No indication for cardiac monitoring
- Low risk for psychosis