History of Ketamine & other Dissociative Anaesthetics

History of ketamine

History of Ketamine Timeline:

Ancient Greece: It is assumed that in ancient Greece when consulting the Oracle of Delphi the visions and omens were produced from inhaling nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which escaped from the rocks of the cave.

1775: Joseph Priestley discovers nitrous oxide a gas produced naturally from the earth.

1790s: Humphrey Davy tested the gas on himself including Coleridge and others.

1880s: Pharmaceutical company Parke-Davis added dried peyote cactus to their list, which contains mescaline.

19th Century: In England and America Ether, chloroform and nitrous oxide are used recreationally – “sniffing parties” and “ether frolics”.

1952: PCP patented in America – though it was used post- WW1 as an anesthetic.

1962: Calvin Stevens invented CL369, renamed CI 581 and was then rechristened Ketamine.

1964: Ketamine given to a human for first time by Edward Domino, his wife coins the phrase “dissociative anaesthesia” – a replacement for PCP had been found..

1966: Ketamine was patented by Parke-Davis – used in Vietnam War. Nicknamed the – ‘buddy drug’ because it could be administered by a fellow soilder. It was patented by Parke-Davis as part of an effort to find a safer anaesthetic alternative to Phencyclidine (PCP), which was more likely to cause hallucinations, neurotoxicity and seizures.

Late 1960s: Late 1960s Ketamine sold illegally under the names of “mean green” and “rockmesc” Hospital staff involved in trials divert ketamine into wider population.

1970: FDA approved ketamine for use on children and the elderly.

1970s: The drug was used in psychiatric and other academic research. In Argentina “ketamina” used in therapy to regress clients back to the womb.

1978: Marcia Moore and John Lilly. Psychonauts – write influential books on the subjective use of Ketamine. John Lilly’s The Scientist and Marcia Moore and Howard Alltounian’s Journeys into the Bright World, which documented the unusual phenomenology of ketamine intoxication.

1989-1992: In the UK Ketamine sees its appearance on the ecstasy scene. ‘Dud pills’ Ecstasy cut with Ketamine. Ketamine was also being used at underground parties and raves.

1995: Ketamine enters mainstream dance culture. Becomes popular has dance drug ‘Ketamine House’ music is still being played today.

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Late 1990s: Berlin party scene – sniffing ketamine for its stimulant properties.

Late 1990s: IV injection of ketamine is the method preferred by Muscovite teenagers

1999: Ketamine becomes a controlled substance in the USA.

1999: Time Out magazine states that “Ketamine is the new E” though it was dismissed years earlier as just a fad.

2000: Ketamine is regulated under Schedule 1 of Hong Kong Chapter 134 of Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. It can only be used legally by health professionals, for university research purposes, or with a physician’s prescription.

2003-2005: MixMag dance magazine reports show steady increase in Ketamine use year after year. Also Drugscope identifies it in its survey as a growing UK phenomena.

2005: UK anecdotal information on bladder problems due to Ketamine use. Dismissed by health professionals as being psychosomatic as Ketamine is extremely safe in medical circles.

2006: Ketamine Class C drug in UK. Recreational use increases..

2007: In Hong Kong the first clinical reports of serious bladder and kidney problems among daily Ketamine street use are published.

2008: Isolated reports of serious bladder problems with users across the UK. Reasons for this are still unknown as Ketamine is considered a safe drug in medical circles and has received thousands of clinical trials which demonstrate its efficacy and safety.

2009: Druglink magazine highlights that Ketamine use is still increasing in the UK despite it being a Class C drug. Some services are starting to also see an increase in injecting users as well as those snorting the drug.

2010: Estimated 90,000 Ketamine users in the UK.

2011: Report released in the UK by Lancaster University stating that Ketamine can cause cystitis in human tissue

2018: Use of ketamine has decreased from its peak in many parts of the UK.

History of Cocaine