Psychedelic profile: ketamine
In 2021, the psychedelic healthcare market was worth US$190 million, dominated by ketamine-assisted therapy. Distinct from other psychedelic medicines, ketamine is dissociative with psychedelic properties and features on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines as an anaesthetic.
Traditional psychedelic medicines work by binding to receptors that detect serotonin, antagonising the 5-HT2a receptor specifically. Ketamine, however, works by activating AMPA receptors, which are responsible for the majority of excitatory synaptic transmissions throughout the central nervous system, strengthening the connections.
However, while ketamine has been administered off-label for depression for many years, it wasn’t until 2019 that esketamine, a ketamine derivative, was ratified by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression and psychiatric emergencies.Read More