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Pharmacological particulars
Pharmacotherapeutic group: dissociative anaesthetic.
ATCvet code: QN01AX03
Pharmacodynamic properties
Ketamine blocks nerve impulses in the cerebral cortex while activating subjacent brain regions. Hence, a dissociative anaesthesia is obtained, on the one hand narcosis and superficial analgesia and, on the other hand no bulbar depression,
continued muscle tone and maintenance of certain reflexes (e.g. swallowing reflex).
At anaesthetic doses, ketamine is a bronchodilator (sympathomimetic effect), increases heart rate and blood pressure, and increases cerebral circulation and intraocular pressure.
These characteristics can be modified if the medicinal product is used in association with other anaesthetics.
Pharmacokinetic particulars
Ketamine undergoes extensive hepatic biotransformation in dogs, horses and primates. Some hepatic metabolism occurs in cats, but normally the majority of the drug is excreted via the kidney. Recovery of ketamine after intravenous bolus is by rapid redistribution from the CNS to other tissues, primarily fat, lung, liver and kidney.