Ketamine (brand name Ketalar) is a cyclohexanone derivative used for induction of anesthesia. Ketalar is indicated as the sole anesthetic agent for diagnostic and surgical procedures that do not require skeletal muscle relaxation; also, it is indicated for the induction of anesthesia prior to the administration of other general anesthetic agents. Ketamine blocks NMDA receptors through an interaction with sites thought to be located within the ion channel pore region. However, the complete pharmacology of ketamine is more complex, and it is known to directly interact with a variety of other sites to varying degrees. Recently, it was shown that inclusion of the NR3B subunit does not alter the ketamine sensitivity of recombinant NR1/NR2 receptors expressed in oocytes. Likewise, 100 μM ketamine produced only weak inhibition of the glycine-induced current of NR1/NR3A/NR3B receptors. The side effects of ketamine noted in clinical studies include psychedelic symptoms (hallucinations, memory defects, panic attacks), nausea/vomiting, somnolence, cardiovascular stimulation and, in a minority of patients, hepatoxicity. The recreational use of ketamine is increasing and comes with a variety of additional risks ranging from bladder and renal complications to persistent psychotypical behaviour and memory defects. Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 by Calvin Stevens at Parke-Davis Co (now Pfizer) as an alternative anesthetic to phencyclidine. It was first used in humans in 1965 by Corssen and Domino and was introduced into clinical practice by 1970. NCATS
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