Ketamine Mechanism of Action

Available by prescription only, ketamine hydrochloride (Ketalar®) is an anesthetic drug used in adults and children over the age of 16. It is administered by injection into either a vein or a muscle.
 
The mechanism of action by which ketamine works is not exactly known. However, it is known that it works by affecting certain brain pathways to quickly produce a general state of anesthesia (loss of sensation and awareness) and pain relief. Unlike many other general anesthetics, ketamine maintains respiration (breathing) and a normal or slightly increased muscle tone.
 
(To learn more, click Ketamine. This article offers a complete overview of this anesthetic, including how it works, how it is administered, and general safety precautions to be aware of.)
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