Ketamine Side Effects
Some side effects of ketamine may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to ketamine: injection solution
Along with its needed effects, ketamine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need 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 as to time, place, or person
- difficult or troubled breathing
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty with swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- frequent urge to urinate
- holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- 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
- tightness in the chest
- unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects of ketamine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Incidence not known
- Double vision
- dream-like state
- flushing or redness of the skin
- loss of appetite
- pain at the injection site
- seeing double
- uncontrolled eye movements
- unusually warm skin
- weight loss
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to ketamine: compounding powder, injectable solution, intravenous solution
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 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 side effects have included diplopia, nystagmus, and a slight elevation in intraocular pressure.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included anorexia, nausea, and vomiting.
Musculoskeletal side effects have included enhanced skeletal muscle tone manifested by tonic and clinic movements sometimes resembling seizures.
Local side effects have included pain and exanthema at the injection site.
Dermatologic side effects have included transient erythema and/or morbilliform rash.
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.
More ketamine resources
- ketamine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- ketamine Intramuscular, Intravenous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- ketamine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ketalar Prescribing Information (FDA)
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