Ketamine Side Effects

It is possible that some side effects of ketamine may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to ketamine: injection solution

As well as its needed effects, ketamine may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ketamine:

Incidence not known
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • bluish lips or skin
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion
  • confusion as to time, place, or person
  • convulsions
  • cough
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • hives
  • holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • itching
  • not breathing
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some ketamine side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Incidence not known
  • Double vision
  • dream-like state
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • pain at the injection site
  • seeing double
  • uncontrolled eye movements
  • unusually warm skin
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ketamine: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular side effects have included elevated blood pressure and pulse rate following administration of ketamine alone. However, hypotension and bradycardia have been observed. Arrhythmia has also been reported.

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects have included stimulated respiration, although severe depression of respiration or apnea may occur following rapid intravenous administration of ketamine. Laryngospasms and other forms of airway obstruction have occurred during ketamine anesthesia.

Ocular

Ocular side effects have included diplopia, nystagmus, and a slight elevation in intraocular pressure.

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included anorexia, nausea, and vomiting.

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal side effects have included enhanced skeletal muscle tone manifested by tonic and clinic movements sometimes resembling seizures.

Local

Local side effects have included pain and exanthema at the injection site.

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects have included transient erythema and/or morbilliform rash.

Psychiatric

Psychiatric side effects have included anxiety, dysphoria, disorientation, insomnia, flashbacks, hallucinations, and psychotic episodes. A withdrawal syndrome with psychotic features has been described following discontinuation of long-term ketamine use.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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