Ketamine Hydrochloride Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 8/7/2020
Ketamine Hydrochloride Side Effects Center

What Is Ketamine Hydrochloride?

Ketamine Hydrochloride (ketamine hcl) Injection (Brand Names: Ketalar) is an anesthetic used as a general anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort during medical tests or procedures, or minor surgery. Ketamine hydrochloride is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Ketamine Hydrochloride?

Common side effects of ketamine hydrochloride include:

  • dream-like feeling,
  • blurred vision,
  • double vision,
  • jerky muscle movements,
  • dizziness,
  • drowsiness,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • loss of appetite, or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects within 24 hours after you receive ketamine hydrochloride including:

  • severe confusion,
  • hallucinations,
  • unusual thoughts, or
  • extreme fear.

Dosage for Ketamine Hydrochloride

This medication is administered under a physician's supervision. The initial dose of ketamine administered intravenously (IV) ranges from 1 mg/kg to 4.5 mg/kg. The average amount required to produce five to ten minutes of surgical anesthesia is 2 mg/kg. The initial dose of ketamine administered intramuscularly (IM) ranges from 6.5 to 13 mg/kg. A dose of 10 mg/kg usually produces 12 to 25 minutes of surgical anesthesia.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Ketamine Hydrochloride?

Ketamine hydrochloride may interact with barbiturates or narcotics. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

Ketamine Hydrochloride During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Ketamine hydrochloride is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. You may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Ketamine hydrochloride.

Additional Information

Our Ketamine Hydrochloride (ketamine hcl) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.


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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers if you have hallucinations or unusual thoughts while waking up from anesthesia.

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:

  • confusion; or
  • dream-like feeling.

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.


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Cardiovascular: Blood pressure and pulse rate are frequently elevated following administration of ketamine hydrochloride alone. However, hypotension and bradycardia have been observed. Arrhythmia has also occurred.

Respiration: Although respiration is frequently stimulated, severe depression of respiration or apnea may occur following rapid intravenous administration of high doses of ketamine hydrochloride. Laryngospasms and other forms of airway obstruction have occurred during ketamine hydrochloride anesthesia.

Eye: Diplopia and nystagmus have been noted following ketamine hydrochloride administration. It also may cause a slight elevation in intraocular pressure measurement.

Genitourinary: Severe irritative and inflammatory urinary tract and bladder symptoms including cystitis have been reported in individuals with history of chronic ketamine use or abuse.

Psychological: (See Special Note.)

Neurological: In some patients, enhanced skeletal muscle tone may be manifested by tonic and clonic movements sometimes resembling seizures (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Section).

Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, nausea and vomiting have been observed; however, this is not usually severe and allows the great majority of patients to take liquids by mouth shortly after regaining consciousness (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Section).

General: Anaphylaxis. Local pain and exanthema at the injection site have infrequently been reported. Transient erythema and/or morbilliform rash have also been reported.

For medical advice about adverse reactions contact your medical professional. To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact JHP at 1-866-923-2547 or MEDWATCH at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1- 800-332-1088) or

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Ketamine has been reported being used as a drug of abuse.

Reports suggest that ketamine produces a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to anxiety, dysphoria, disorientation, insomnia, flashbacks, hallucinations, and psychotic episodes.

Ketamine dependence and tolerance are possible following prolonged administration. A withdrawal syndrome with psychotic features has been described following discontinuation of long-term ketamine use. Therefore, ketamine should be prescribed and administered with caution.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ketamine Hydrochloride (Ketamine HCl)

© Ketamine Hydrochloride Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Ketamine Hydrochloride Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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