KETAMINE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     18th December 2023        
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Context: Recently, actor Matthew Perry's passing, the Los Angeles County medical examiner's office released an autopsy report, stating that Perry died from the "acute effects" of ketamine.


  • About: Ketamine is an anaesthetic that has been listed as a hallucinogen by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

o   It’s referred to as a “dissociative anaesthetic hallucinogen” because it creates a feeling of detachment from pain and the environment.

  • First Time Used: In the US, ketamine was first used as an anaesthetic for animals in the 1960s. Around a decade later, the US Food and Drug Administration approved it for humans.

How is ketamine consumed?

  • Consumption: Mental health patients typically receive ketamine via IV, nasal spray, or tablet, with a frequency of once or twice a week for a duration of six to eight weeks, and some may require extended usage.

Effects of ketamine

  • Therapeutic Effects: During treatment sessions, individuals reported experiencing pleasant visualizations, often accompanied by a sense of existing outside themselves and merging with the universe. 
  • Impact on Brain Receptors: The report highlighted that ketamine has gained popularity due to its influence on brain receptors not targeted by traditional antidepressants. 
  • Effects at High Doses: When taken in higher doses, ketamine's anaesthetic qualities become more pronounced.

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