Generic Name: ketamine
- What is ketamine?
- What are the possible side effects of ketamine?
- What is the most important information I should know about ketamine?
- What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving ketamine?
- How is ketamine given?
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid after receiving ketamine?
- What other drugs will affect ketamine?
- Where can I get more information?
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is used to put you to sleep for surgery and to prevent pain and discomfort during certain medical tests or procedures.
Ketamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of ketamine?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- painful or difficult urination, increased urination, loss of bladder control, blood in your urine;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- slow heart rate, weak or shallow breathing; or
- jerky muscle movements that may look like convulsions.
Common side effects may include:
- dream-like feeling;
- blurred vision, double vision;
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or
- sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about ketamine?
Tell your caregivers at once if you have serious side effects within 24 hours after you receive ketamine, including severe confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts, or extreme fear.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving ketamine?
You should not receive ketamine if you are allergic to it, or if you have untreated or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
Ketamine may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Anesthesia medicine may affect brain development in a child under 3, or an unborn baby whose mother receives this medicine during late pregnancy. These effects may be more likely when the anesthesia is used for 3 hours or longer, or used for repeated procedures. Effects on brain development could cause learning or behavior problems later in life.
Negative brain effects from anesthesia have been seen in animal studies. However, studies in human children receiving single short uses of anesthesia have not shown a likely effect on behavior or learning. More research is needed.
In some cases, your doctor may decide to postpone a surgery or procedure based on these risks. Treatment may not be delayed in the case of life-threatening conditions, medical emergencies, or surgery needed to correct certain birth defects.
Ask your doctor for information about all medicines that will be used during your surgery or procedure. Also ask how long the procedure will last.
It may not be safe to breast-feed shortly after receiving this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
How is ketamine given?
Ketamine is injected into a muscle, or as an infusion into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.
Your breathing, blood pressure, heart function, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving ketamine.
You may feel strange or slightly confused when you first come out of anesthesia. Tell your caregivers if these feelings are severe or unpleasant.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since ketamine is usually given for anesthesia, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.
What happens if I overdose?
Since ketamine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur. Your vital signs will be closely watched while you are under anesthesia to make sure the medication is not causing any harmful effects.
What should I avoid after receiving ketamine?
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. You will probably not be allowed to drive yourself home after your surgery or medical procedure. Avoid driving or operating machinery for at least 24 hours after you have received ketamine.
What other drugs will affect ketamine?
If you are using any drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing, it may take you longer to recover from anesthesia with ketamine. This includes opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Other drugs may affect ketamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about ketamine.
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