Ketamine is a drug that has historically been used as an anesthetic. It was traditionally used to induce anesthesia in children. The drug’s propensity to cause bad dreams and the development of newer agents (Propofol) has limited Ketamine use as an anesthetic. It has also been used in burn units for dressing changes due to its pain relieving abilities.
However, in recent years it has been used in lower doses for depression, atypical chronic pain, and PTSD. Clinically we have seen great success with low-dose intravenous Ketamine for intractable chronic pain and depression over the past 4 years. We tend to run ultra-low-dose Ketamine which we have found gives just as good results as higher doses and significantly reduces side effects such as excessive sedation and dissociation.
Depending on the patient a Ketamine infusion usually takes 2-3 hours and is usually combined with other infusions (glutathione, multivitamin) for optimum results.