Did you know that we have been using ketamine for more than 50 years? It was approved by the FDA in 1970 for human use as an anesthetic for surgery and trauma. Since then, ketamine has only become more and more useful and continues to fascinate doctors and scientists alike. Because ketamine — like many medications — has been abused as a street drug, many people have only heard of it in the context of club culture. In today’s blog, we’ll be taking a broad look at how ketamine has helped people heal and overcome pain over the years it’s been in use.

Here at Karitas Ketamine Clinic, we see the ways ketamine infusions can transform lives every single day. Our clients come to us with many different conditions, from depression to PTSD, chronic pain, and more. We’re passionate about the good ketamine treatments can do for people, and that’s why we’re committed to providing affordable ketamine infusion therapy at our West Covina clinic. We love sharing our knowledge with our Southern California community, and if you’d like to learn more, check out our Research & Press page or contact us to sign-up to receive our monthly e-Newsletter, filled with valuable information about ketamine research!


Battlefield Anesthetic

Ketamine was first developed in 1962, and promoted as a fast-acting general anesthesia. In 1970, when ketamine was approved by the FDA for human use, it was used as an anesthetic for wounded Vietnam War soldiers. Ketamine has also been used as an analgesic (pain relieving drug) in the combined Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. It is a good option for combat medics to use on the battlefield because it is safe, effective, and easily administered. Other choices, such as morphine, are slow-acting, and can lead to dangerous delays in pain relief for those injured on the battlefield. Ketamine is given to people experiencing moderate to severe pain, but who are also in danger of having heart or respiratory distress. Ketamine provides pain relief without exacerbating heart or respiratory problems, making it an excellent option in these scenarios.  

Veterinary Anesthetic

Ketamine is commonly used as an anesthetic in veterinary medicine. Like many medications created for human use, it found its way into the field of veterinary medicine. The amount of ketamine used for different animals varies on their size, and, of course, the amount of ketamine used to sedate a dog or cat would be much smaller than that used for an adult human. 

Short-Term Sedation For Children

According to an article published in Paediatrics Child Health, ketamine is one of the most popular sedatives used for children in the ER requiring short-term sedation for a painful procedure. In 1990, a study that reviewed 11,589 administrations of ketamine infusions for sedation was released and found that it was safe and effective sedative for people of all ages. Ketamine is great for short-term procedures because it can be dosed to last 30 minutes to an hour, rather than several hours like other sedatives.

Since then, there has been considerable research on the efficacy, safety, and dosing guidelines for ketamine and it stocked in emergency rooms across the country. It is often the first choice for short, painful procedures in the emergency room. Unlike most other sedatives, ketamine preserves cardiovascular stability and protective airway reflexes, which means it is very safe for the heart and breathing. 

Illicit Drug Use

Some of the drugs that have the most dramatic ability to heal are also dangerously abused. This is true of most pain relievers, and you the current opioid epidemic is an example of what can happen when pain relief medications are overprescribed and abused. Non-medical use of ketamine gained popularity from the mid 1980s and onwards. 

Ketamine has profound effects on the human body — that’s one of the reasons ketamine infusions are such a powerful treatment for depression. However, ketamine has also been taken illicitly and used in clubs and dance venues. It is often called “K” or “SpeciaL K” and, when abused, can lead to serious health issues, including addiction and bladder damage. 

Drug abuse is serious, but it’s easy to only remember the negative effects associated with the recreational use of ketamine. When it comes to the health benefits and the controlled use of ketamine infusions in places like Emergency Rooms and ketamine clinics, it’s worth listening to the experts.

Ketamine for Depression

In 2000, researchers found that ketamine could be used to treat depression, especially treatment-resistant depression. In March 2019, the FDA approved an intranasal (administered via a nasal spray) version of ketamine for depression for adults. Research is still being conducted on whether ketamine administered intravenously (as we do here at Karitas Ketamine Clinic) or via a nasal spray are more effective. Ketamine infusions are the most common form of ketamine treatment, which is why we use this method for all of our patients, including those using ketamine for chronic pain management. 

Karitas Ketamine Clinic West Covina

Our mission is to provide access to ketamine infusions for all those who could potentially benefit from this life-changing treatment. That’s why our West Covina clinic offers some of the lowest priced ketamine infusions in the entire nation. Follow our blog to learn more about the illnesses ketamine infusions can help treat — including severe anxiety, bipolar depression, and chronic pain. Visit our FAQ page, explore further ketamine research and press, and contact us today to set up an appointment.


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