Ketamine is a rapid-acting anesthetic commonly used during surgical procedures in both animals and humans, as an experimental drug in the treatment of chronic pain, and as a probe for the study of the cause of schizophrenia. When used medically as an anesthetic it is administered as an intravenous (IV) solution, but when diverted to the illicit market it can be injected, snorted, smoked, or consumed in drinks. Ketamine produces effects similar in some respects to phencyclidine (PCP) and lysergic acid (LSD), but of shorter duration. Psychedelic effects are produced quickly by low doses of the drug, although larger doses are frequently used in an attempt to produce “near-death” experiences. Convulsions and death can be caused by higher doses, although most deaths in which ketamine is detected are the result of poly-drug use or trauma. Reports of ketamine use at rave parties attended by young adults appear to be on the rise. The effects from ketamine last from 1-5 hours, and ketamine can be detected in the urine for a period of 1-2 days following use.
How is this medicine (Ketamine) best taken?
Use ketamine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into a muscle or vein.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- This medicine is given on an as needed basis
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, change in eyesight.
- Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
- Slow heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Feeling confused.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Change in how you act.
- Muscle stiffness.
- Change in eyesight.
- Not able to control eye movements.