Ketamine is an FDA approved medication that has been used for many decades as an anesthetic agent. It is considered to be an essential medication by the World Health Organization. This is due to its high degree of safety and efficacy. It is commonly used in a variety of situations. These range from treating wounded soldiers in the battlefield, complex cardiac surgeries and is often the top choice of anesthetic for children. FDA approval does not imply that there are no risks. But, rather that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.
There is strong evidence to suggest that these infusions may provide relief of symptoms of certain chronic pain conditions, depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD and other mood disorders. Ketamine’s use for these conditions is considered off-label because these aren’t the original indications that Ketamine was approved for. However, once a drug has been approved by the FDA for one purpose, healthcare providers may prescribe the drug for other purposes. Healthcare providers may deem it medically appropriate to be used for a different purpose. Appropriate off-label use of medication is ethical, legal and common. In fact, about 20% of all prescriptions written in the US today are considered off-label.