Ketamine - 1

Ketamine, a phencyclidine derivative, is arguably our most ideal anesthetic agent!


1958: phencyclidine (phenyl cyclohexyl piperidine, PCP) introduced into clinical anesthesia *
phencyclidine Phencyclidine produced an unacceptably high incidence of hallucinations, confusion and delirium, so its development for use in human anesthesia was discontinued. It became commercially available for use as a veterinary anesthetic in the 1960s under the trade name of Sernylan and was placed in Schedule III under the U.S. Federal Contolled Substances Act (CSA). In 1978, due to considerable abuse phencyclidine was transferred to Schedule II under the CSA and manufacturing of Sernylan was discontinued. Today, virtually all of the phencyclidine encountered on the illicit market in the U.S. is produced in clandestine laboratories.

1959: cyclohexamine tried *
worse than PCP (similar adverse psychotomimetic effects with less analgesia)

1962: ketamine (Ketalar) synthesized by Stevens

1965: ketamine tried in humans *
chosen to be most promising from 200 PCP derivatives tested in animals

1970: ketamine officially released for clinical use in U.S.

1999: ketamine becomes a schedule III substance under the CSA

Greg Gordon MD