About the book
Ketamine is quite an old drug. It was synthetized in 1962 as a short-acting analogue of phencyclidine, the first clinical trials being published in 1966. It was extensively used in several wars due to its respiratory safety profile, and even included on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines in 1985. Its adverse effects (hallucinogenic and dissociative effects) and the emergence of new hypnotics and analgesics in anesthetic practice restricted its use to veterinary, war scenarios, and pediatrics.
This situation has undergone a profound change in the last 20 years. Molecular and chemical sciences have revealed new data on NMDA receptors, and have allowed the development of different NMDA receptor antagonists that enlarge the scope of ketamine and its compounds.
At this moment, ketamine is increasingly being used in clinical practice. In the operating room, besides its use as an induction or sedative agent, it plays an important role in opioid free anesthesia (OFA), and also as adjuvant together with other drugs or techniques, even regional blocks. Nevertheless, ketamine has jumped beyond this area, to conquer its role in pain medicine (multimodal analgesia, chronic pain, palliative care), critical care (status epilepticus), emergency medicine, and psychiatry (depression).
This book is therefore addressed to a wide range of professionals. It wants to pay tribute to ketamine, this old-new drug, exploring new insights into NMDA receptors and the role of NMDA receptor antagonists in the different actual clinical settings.