Year: 2017 Source: Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. (2016). 37(7): 865–872. Published online 28 March 2016. doi: 10.1038/aps.2016.5 SIEC No: 20170448

After nearly half a century on the market, ketamine still occupies a unique corner in the medical armamentarium of anesthesiologists or clinicians treating pain. Over the last two decades, much research has been conducted highlighting the drug’s mechanisms of action, specifically those of its enantiomers. Nowadays, ketamine is also being utilized for pediatric pain control in emergency department, with its anti-hyperalgesic and anti-inflammatory effects being revealed in acute and chronic pain management. Recently, new insights have been gained on ketamine’s potential anti-depressive and antisuicidal effects. This article provides an overview of the drug’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics while also discussing the potential benefits and risks of ketamine administration in various clinical settings.