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Ketamine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to ketamine: injection solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by ketamine. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking ketamine, check with your doctor or nurse immediately:

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

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with ketamine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

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


Common (1% to 10%): Blood pressure increased, heart rate increased, increased pulse rate
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bradycardia, arrhythmia, hypotension
Frequency not reported: Arrhythmia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Respiratory rate increased
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Respiratory depression, laryngospasm
Rare (less than 0.1%): Obstructive airway disorder, apnea[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nystagmus, diplopia
Frequency not reported: Intraocular pressure increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting, anorexia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Salivary hypersecretion[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypertonia, tonic clonic movements[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site pain, injection site rash[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Erythema, morbilliform rash[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hallucination, abnormal dreams, nightmare, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anxiety
Rare (less than 0.1%): Delirium, flashback, dysphoria, insomnia, disorientation
Frequency not reported: Psychotic episodes[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Cystitis, hemorrhagic cystitis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Liver function test abnormal[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anaphylactic reaction[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Ketalar (ketamine)." JHP Pharmaceuticals, Saddle River, NJ.

Not all side effects for ketamine may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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. 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.