Ketamine hydrochloride has a wide range of effects in humans including analgesia, anaesthesia, hallucinations, raised blood pressure and bronchodilation. It is primarily used for the induction and maintenance of general anaesthesia, usually in combination with some sedative drug. It is used in intensive care, for analgesia (particularly in emergency medicine), and treatment of bronchospasm. It is also a popular anaesthetic in veterinary medicine. Back to all training on drugs »
There are an estimated 90,000 Ketamine users in the UK. Druglink magazine highlights that Ketamine use is still increasing in the UK despite it being a Class C drug. Some services are starting to also see an increase in injecting users as well as those snorting the drug.
Pharmacologically, Ketamine is classified as an NMDA receptor antagonist, and at high, fully anaesthetic level doses, Ketamine has also been found to bind to opioid receptors and sigma receptors in the brain.
Ketamine hydrochloride is sold as Ketanest, Ketaset, and Ketalar. Like other drugs of this class such as phencyclidine (PCP), it induces a state referred to as "dissociative anaesthesia" and is used as a recreational drug.