Ketamine, a nonselective NMDA receptor antagonist, is used widely in medicine as an anesthetic agent. However, ketamine's mechanisms of action lead to widespread physiological effects, some of which are now coming to the forefront of research for the treatment of diverse medical disorders. This paper aims at reviewing recent data on key nonanesthetic uses of ketamine in the current literature. MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Google Scholar databases were queried to find articles related to ketamine in the treatment of depression, pain syndromes including acute pain, chronic pain, and headache, neurologic applications including neuroprotection and seizures, and alcohol and substance use disorders. It can be concluded that ketamine has a potential role in the treatment of all of these conditions. However, research in this area is still in its early stages, and larger studies are required to evaluate ketamine's efficacy for nonanesthetic purposes in the general population.
Copyright © 2020 Abby Pribish et al.