Ketamine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ketamine (KEE-ta-meen)
Brand Name: Ketalar

Psychological effects ranging from pleasant, dream-like states to delirium have occurred as ketamine wears off. Be sure to have a responsible adult to monitor and assist you for up to 24 hours after you receive ketamine.


Ketamine is used for:

Inducing anesthesia (lack of sensation or feeling) before surgery or certain procedures that do not require skeletal muscle relaxation. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Ketamine is an anesthetic. It works in the brain to inhibit painful sensations.

Do NOT use ketamine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ketamine
  • you have a condition in which a large increase in blood pressure would be harmful
  • you are taking droxidopa

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using ketamine:

Some medical conditions may interact with ketamine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of head trauma or injury, bleeding in the brain, a stroke, increased spinal fluid pressure, increased pressure in the eye, bladder or urinary problems, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), high blood pressure, mental or mood problems, or thyroid problems
  • if you have a history of alcoholism or you are intoxicated by alcohol

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ketamine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amiodarone or droxidopa because serious side effects, such as abnormal heart rhythms, may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ketamine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use ketamine:

Use ketamine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Ketamine is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic by those experienced in administering general anesthetics, in maintaining an airway, and in controlling respiration.
  • Do not use ketamine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of ketamine, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ketamine.

Important safety information:

  • Ketamine may cause drowsiness for up to 24 hours. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use ketamine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks for at least 24 hours following surgery until you know how you react to it.
  • Ketamine may cause behavior, mental, or mood changes; confusion; or hallucinations that usually go away within 24 hours. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take ketamine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use ketamine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Ketamine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 16 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if ketamine can cause harm to the fetus. Use of ketamine during pregnancy is not recommended. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using ketamine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of ketamine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Loss of appetite; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); behavior changes; confusion; difficult, frequent, or painful urination; double vision; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; involuntary muscle movements; mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety); pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; severe or persistent dizziness, light-headedness, or headache; slowed or shallow breathing; uncontrolled eye movements.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include severe shallow or slowed breathing.

Proper storage of ketamine:

Ketamine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep ketamine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ketamine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ketamine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ketamine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ketamine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ketamine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ketamine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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