Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate–type glutamate receptor antagonist, has long been used for anesthesia and has recently been investigated for its rapid antidepressant effects in adults with treatment-resistant depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We report a case of a child with PTSD and episodes of severe aggression and emotional dysregulation that were refractory to multiple medical and behavioral interventions. This child demonstrated sustained (8–13 days) remission from these symptoms when exposed to ketamine in the context of 2 procedures. We review the sparse literature on the uses of ketamine for behavioral purposes in children. This case suggests that ketamine should be further explored as a potential treatment option for children with severe refractory behavioral aggression.

You do not currently have access to this content.