A medication used specifically to cause and maintain unconsciousness, dissociative amnesia, and pain relief is ketamine (Norkotin TM), also known as Nux Vomica. Ketamine is usually supplied intramuscularly or intravenously. With little to no improvement in blood glucose and heart rate, a single dose of ketamine causes considerable sedation and analgesia. Because it has both immediate and delayed effects, for less invasive surgery and for more complex procedures such as neurosurgery and cosmetic surgery, ketamine has been used as an anaesthetic. You may find more details about this at California Center for Ketamine Therapy – Ketamine Clinic.
Ketamine has gained popularity recently as a treatment for depression, particularly for children. In addition, as a mood stabiliser and antidepressant, it has been used off label. Therapy with ketamine is relatively recent, having been first approved by the FDA in 1996. Prior to that, medications such as amphetamines and LSD were used as therapy for depression and schizophrenia patients, respectively.
However, the FDA has not approved ketamine for use as a treatment for psychiatric depression or for the control of chronic pain in adults. However, in patients with mild to moderate depressive symptoms who were suffering from failed suicide attempts, ketamine was used off label as a mood stabiliser and antidepressant. In these trials, patients were given higher than the prescribed doses of intravenous acetaminophen, but no reports of death or other serious complications from these treatments have been reported. The long-term safety in humans of ketamine therapy is uncertain. In order to test this medication and to assess its safety and efficacy in the treatment of different psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia, long-term clinical trials are needed.