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The History and Reputation of Ketamine

The words Ketamine Treatment or Ketamine Therapy may make you think “emergency tranquilizer” or “illegal party drug”, but studies over the last few decades have proven ketamine is the future of Psychiatric Medicine. Patients suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health conditions have seen fast relief from symptoms with ketamine.



But is ketamine legal in the United States?


In short, yes. Ketamine has been legal for medical use (prescribed by a doctor) for over fifty years.


So how did a drug go from anesthetic to club drug to life changing psychiatric treatment over the years?


Ketamine was first synthesized by American chemist Calvin L. Stevens in 1962. The drug was approved for use in 1970 as a rapid acting anesthetic. Since then, ketamine has been crucial for surgeons treating soldiers in field hospitals. It is also still used today in American hospitals as a safe sedation for adults and children.


While used as a reliable anesthetic around the world for decades, the drug gained a reputation as a party drug in the clubbing scene. The sub-anesthetic doses produced a detached dissociative state in recreational users with some using higher doses experiencing hallucinations.


In 1999, ketamine was placed as a Schedule 3 controlled substance, banning its nonmedical use in America. Schedule 3 controlled substances have a lower risk of abuse and addiction and approved medical uses. Other drugs in this classification include medication for the treatment of nausea in chemotherapy patients, anti-epileptic medication to prevent seizures, and a medication for two main symptoms of narcolepsy.


Despite the reputation, researchers and doctors were fascinated by the link between ketamine and depression. Studies showed patients treated with a single ketamine infusion had significant relief from depression within hours of the treatment. Typically, patients feel the effects of orals antidepressants after 4 to 6 weeks of consistent use.


This groundbreaking information led to ketamine infusion clinics opening nationwide over the last few years. Ketamine clinics currently use ketamine off-label, meaning that ketamine has not been approved by the FDA to treat depression or any other mental health condition, and must be prescribed by a doctor who determines the treatment is medically necessary and in the best interest of the patient.


On the heels of the boom of ketamine clinics, big pharma entered the scene, and Spravato (esketamine) was approved by the FDA for treatment resistant depression in 2019. Since then Ketamine itself has grown in popularity as research of peer reviewed scientific literature has proven the mental health benefits of ketamine for many conditions. The stigma once surrounding ketamine has rapidly gone away.


Now there’s KetaMist®. Simply the best and most superior ketamine delivery system yet. With KetaMist®, there’s no IVs, no injections, no needles, no nasal sprays, and no suboptimal doses. You the patient are in control of your ketamine treatment. Call (866) KTA-MIST, (866) 582-6478 for more information.


Find success when other treatments fail with KetaMist®.





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