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Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health

by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Definition

Ketamine is an anesthetic medicine. Poisoning can happen when too much ketamine gets into the blood.

Causes

Poisoning is caused by taking repeat, high doses of ketamine to treat health problems. This may happen when it is taken for a long time.

Risk Factors

Poisoning is more common in people who have health problems being treated with ketamine, such as pain and depression .

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on how much ketamine was taken and for how long.

Symptoms may be:

  • Seeing or hearing things that are not real
  • Problems thinking
  • Problems such as pain with passing urine, bloody urine, urgency, or leaking
  • Belly pain

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You will be asked about your use of ketamine.

Blood and urine tests can check for levels of ketamine.

Images may be taken of your urinary tract and belly. This can be done with:

You may have an ECG. It can check how well your heart is working.

Treatment

Ketamine will need to be stopped and replaced with other medicines to treat health problems.

Talk with the doctor about the best treatment for you. Medicines may be used to ease symptoms and support the health of your urinary tract. Some people may need surgery for urinary problems.

Prevention

Learn about the risks of taking ketamine before you start using it to treat health problems.

RESOURCES

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality  https://www.ahrq.gov 

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians  https://www.familydoctor.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada  https://www.canada.ca 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  https://www.camh.ca 

References

Ketamine overdose facts and statistics. MentalHelp.net website. Available at: https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/ketamine-overdose/. Updated August 27, 2016. Accessed May 3, 2018.

Ketamine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/ketamine  . Updated November 8, 2018. Accessed August 1, 2019.

Revision Information