by EBSCO Medical Review Board


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


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 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


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.


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.


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


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians 


Health Canada 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 


Ketamine overdose facts and statistics. website. Available at: Updated August 27, 2016. Accessed May 3, 2018.

Ketamine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  . Updated November 8, 2018. Accessed August 1, 2019.

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