Common ketamine side effects, when used medically, include confusion or a dream-like feeling. The emergency and referral resources listed above are available to individuals located in the United States and are not operated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA is a biomedical research organization and does not provide personalized medical advice, treatment, counseling, or legal consultation. Information provided by NIDA is not a substitute for professional medical care or legal consultation. 2-chlorobenzonitrile is reacted with the Grignard reagent cyclopentylmagnesium bromide to give (2-chlorophenyl)(cyclopentyl)methanone.

What is ketamine used for in mental health care?

  1. Pediatric neurotoxicity Studies conducted in young animals and children suggest repeated or prolonged use of general anesthetic or sedation drugs in children younger than 3 years may have negative effects on their developing brains.
  2. Furthermore, there may be an emerging role for ketamine in treatment of refractory depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  3. Healthcare professionals may use approved forms of ketamine as an anesthetic, as a sedative, or to treat depression.

Although the ketamine high can be extremely pleasant, it can lead to serious dependence. While you can build up a high tolerance to the drug without experiencing withdrawal, if your life is revolving around using, you need to seek help. Other issues include kidney problems, which are caused by the drug’s interaction with the kidneys as it is reduced into its metabolites. If this progresses to vomiting, it can be very dangerous, as those in the midst of a state of dissociated confusion frequently end up supine—presenting a serious choking hazard.

Veterinary medicine

The amount of ketamine found in Perry’s deceased body was fairly high (anesthetic level), to the point that it would have caused him to lose consciousness. This, combined with the fact that he was near a swimming pool, means that the ketamine caused him to lose consciousness while in the water, and then he drowned. Even with such a large amount of ketamine in his body, if he had been in a doctor’s office (instead of near a swimming pool) gabepentin: uses dosage safety and more he would not have died. Perry’s case is a tragic example of why it’s not a good idea for doctors to prescribe, or patients to take, ketamine at home—a practice that my colleagues and I have warned against. If your doctor discusses ketamine as a treatment option for your health condition, you can ask them about insurance coverage. However, things are changing and there may be promising news in the future regarding insurance coverage.

Related treatment guides

Ketamine IV treatment can rapidly reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, in a 2023 analysis, scientists investigated the effect of KIT on symptoms of depression and anxiety. They found that KIT significantly reduced anxiety symptoms compared to other forms of medication. Healthcare professionals may prescribe ketamine for anxiety “off label.” This is called ketamine intravenous therapy (KIT). Off-label is where a healthcare professional prescribes a drug for a purpose other than it’s FDA approval. This article discusses how ketamine works, types of ketamine treatment, and how effective ketamine is.

Treating depression

The insights derived from this study must be considered within the context of the study’s limitations. First, because our focus was on multi-measurement, multi-domain assessment of ketamine’s acute effects, the sample size was limited and not intended to provide a basis for making broader group average inferences. It will be essential to conduct studies designed to replicate and expand these findings. Second, our multi-domain methodology necessarily relies on the administration of a series of assessments at multiple time points within each IV session. While we made every effort to administer assessments within the exact same timing for each participant, this was not always possible due to the need to first address side effects such as nausea. The third limitation relates to the temporal sequence of our mediation models, which was selected based on the order of our measures.

One focus of functional imaging studies is related to the activity and connectivity of the default-mode network (DMN), which correlates with the severity of depression and rumination [225–227]. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study alcohol withdrawal symptoms timeline and detox treatment demonstrated that the connectivity between insula and the DMN was normalized when measured 2 days after ketamine treatment [228]. This change was reversed after 10 days, which corresponds well with the duration of ketamine’s antidepressant effects.

Scientists believe ketamine blocks several types of receptors and pathways in the brain. One type, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, regulates how connections in a person’s brain change over time. Ketamine and esketamine, on the other hand, are thought to create more connections (synapses) between brain cells, a process thought to ease depression and decrease suicidal thoughts. One recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology estimated that almost a third of the nearly 9 million people in the United States treated for depression each year have TRD.

Thus, acute changes in anterior insula activity in response to negative emotional stimuli may be an early biomarker of longer-term activity changes in this region. Additionally, a study of depression that included qualitative assessments revealed that participants felt that a longer-term decrease in suicidal ideation was related to acute dissociative effects during infusion14. The sgACC, in particular, has been a focus of numerous studies because earlier studies have found depressed patients to exhibit overactivity of the sgACC, which is suggested to normalize upon recovery after treatment [213–216]. A recent study in nonhuman primates demonstrated that ketamine is indeed able to reverse the depressive-like impairments and metabolic changes produced by the overactivation of the sgACC [217]. The hyperactivity of the sgACC has also been observed during task performance in depressed patients, where ketamine may act to normalize sgACC hyperactivity to positive incentives [218]. However, many findings related to the activity of the sgACC remain inconclusive.

Data sources include Micromedex (updated 6 May 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 6 May 2024), ASHP (updated 10 Apr 2024) and others. Ketamine is an anesthetic used to put you to sleep for surgery and to prevent pain and discomfort; Ketamine for depression and anxiety is currently being researched, using lower doses. Ketamine is also a drug of abuse that is used illegally recreationally for its hallucinogenic properties and is known to be a “date rape” drug as it causes short-term memory loss.

Pediatric neurotoxicity Studies conducted in young animals and children suggest repeated or prolonged use of general anesthetic or sedation drugs in children younger than 3 years may have negative effects on their developing brains. Discuss with parents and caregivers the benefits, risks, timing, and duration of surgery or procedures requiring anesthetic and sedation drugs. Hemodynamic instability Temporary increases what are the effects and risks of ecstacy on the body in blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac index may be observed during administration. Esketamine (Spravato), one of the forms of racemic ketamine, was approved in 2019 for specific types of depression. Spravato is a nasal spray that is used under strict medical supervision and is not used by patients at home. Ketamine is not currently approved by FDA for the treatment of any substance use disorder.

Ketamine is a medication that doctors use as an anesthetic to induce loss of consciousness. Under the Controlled Substances Act, health experts consider ketamine a schedule III non-narcotic substance. Ketamine does not cause any persistent problems when it is used for anesthesia. However, if you have abused ketamine for a non-medical use, it can harm your health, and you need to seek urgent medical help. The initial IV dose of Ketalar ranges from 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight to 4.5 mg per kg of body weight. The initial dose for anesthesia induction is administered over several minutes.

Because several other trials indicate ketamine may have significant antianxiety effects, the authors encouraged future studies to explore this possible benefit more fully. Despite these positive results, the authors warn that data on the use of ketamine for this condition are limited, so practitioners should consider the risks of the drug before prescribing it. The FDA has approved ketamine for general anesthesia only, but the drug has some off-label uses. While ketamine is safe to use in controlled medical practice, it becomes hazardous if someone takes it for recreational use as it may result in potentially life-threatening adverse effects. Ketamin can sedate, incapacitate, and cause short-term memory loss, and because of this, some people use it as a date-rape drug.

A recent non-inferiority study comparing intravenous S-ketamine versus racemic ketamine suggests that their antidepressant effects may not be markedly different [105]. Indeed, off-label administration of racemic ketamine remains an attractive option for clinicians for intravenous use because it is readily available, low cost, and easily adaptable to nasal administration via sinus nebulizers. Taken together, these studies suggest that there is a range of therapeutically active subanesthetic doses of ketamine.