Mike Wang, Sc.M, Paul Nestadt, M.D.


  • Ketamine hydrochloride is a general anesthetic used at sub-anesthetic doses for off-label treatment of depressive symptoms. It is notable as both an unusually fast-acting antidepressant (within 4 hrs) and a psychomimetic agent (meaning that it in higher doses it can mimic psychosis). Due to ketamine’s dissociative and psychomimetic effects, its administration is done under clinical supervision. An intranasal preparation of the S enantiomer of ketamine (esketamine, brand name SPRAVATO) is FDA approved for TRD.[1][2]

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Last updated: April 2, 2019