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ketamine

Pronunciation: KET a meen

Brand: Ketalar

What is the most important information I should know about ketamine?

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

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 should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving ketamine?

You should not be treated with 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:

  • heart disease;
  • high blood pressure;
  • liver disease;
  • alcoholism; or
  • if you drink large amounts of alcohol.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Anesthesia may affect brain development in a young child or unborn baby (when used in the mother), leading to learning or behavior problems later in life. Long surgeries or repeated procedures pose the highest risks.

Anesthesia may still be necessary for a life-threatening condition, medical emergency, or surgery to correct a birth defect. Your doctor can give inform you about all medicines given during a surgery or procedure.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed shortly after you receive this medicine.

How is ketamine given?

Ketamine is injected into a muscle or a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

You may feel strange or confused when you awake from anesthesia. Tell your caregivers if these feelings are severe or unpleasant.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Ketamine is used as a single dose and does not have a daily dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

In a medical setting an overdose would be treated quickly.

What should I avoid after receiving ketamine?

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions for several hours. Avoid driving or operating machinery for at least 24 hours after you receive ketamine.

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.

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.

What other drugs will affect ketamine?

It may take you longer to recover from anesthesia if you use other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing. 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 other medicines you use.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about ketamine.

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