Ketamine has been found to be a valuable and highly effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and certain pain disorders.

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Ketamine is a medicine developed more than 50 years ago and has been used in general anesthesia for decades in children, adults, and animals. It is a so-called "dissociative anesthetic," which means that it causes an altered state of sensory perception without loss of consciousness. It is used illicitly as a recreational drug, a fact which might bias many of us against considering its' potential benefit in medicine. Recent, exciting news about ketamine is that a single dose can lead to a dramatic improvement in symptoms of depression, even inpatients who have severe, chronic, treatment-refractory mood disorders.