Ketamine was introduced commercially in 1970 with the manufacturer's description as a "rapidly acting, nonbarbiturate general anesthetic" and a suggestion that it would be useful for short procedures. With the help of its old unique pharmacological properties and newly found beneficial clinical properties, ketamine has survived the strong winds of time, and it currently has a wide variety of clinical applications. It's newly found neuroprotective, antiinflammatory and antitumor effects, and the finding of the usefulness of low dose ketamine regimens have helped to widen the clinical application profile of ketamine. The present article attempts to review the current useful applications of ketamine in anesthesia, pain and critical care. It is based on scientific evidence gathered from textbooks, journals, and electronic databases.
Keywords: Anesthesia; clinical applications; critical care; drug; ketamine; pain; palliative care; pediatrics; perioperative analgesia.