Ketamine, sold under the brand name Ketalar among others, is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It induces a trance-like state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss. Other uses include for chronic pain and for sedation in intensive care.
Ketamine hydrochloride is a nonbarbiturate anesthetic chemically designated dl 2-(0-chlorophenyl)-2- (methylamino) cyclohexanone hydrochloride. It is formulated as a slightly acid (pH 3.5-5.5) sterile solution for intravenous or intramuscular injection in concentrations containing the equivalent of either 10, 50 or 100 mg ketamine base per milliliter and contains not more than 0.1 mg/mL Phemerol® (benzethonium chloride) added as a preservative. The 10 mg/mL solution has been made isotonic with sodium chloride.
The maintenance dose should be adjusted according to the patient’s anesthetic needs and whether an additional anesthetic agent is employed.
Increments of one-half to the full induction dose may be repeated as needed for maintenance of anesthesia. However, it should be noted that purposeless and tonic-clonic movements of extremities may occur during the course of anesthesia. These movements do not imply a light plane and are not indicative of the need for additional doses of the anesthetic.
It should be recognized that the larger the total dose of ketamine hydrochloride administered, the longer will be the time to complete recovery.
Adult patients induced with ketamine hydrochloride augmented with intravenous diazepam may be maintained on ketamine hydrochloride given by slow microdrip infusion technique at a dose of 0.1 to 0.5 mg/minute, augmented with diazepam 2 to 5 mg administered intravenously as needed. In many cases 20 mg or less of intravenous diazepam total for combined induction and maintenance will suffice. However, slightly more diazepam may be required depending on the nature and duration of the operation, physical status of the patient, and other factors. The incidence of psychological manifestations during emergence, particularly dream-like observations and emergence delirium, may be reduced by this maintenance dosage program.