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Ketamine Dosage

A healthcare provider will determine a person's dosage of ketamine based on several factors, such as the person's weight, the reason for using ketamine, and other medications that will be used along with this anesthetic. Ketamine comes in the form of an injection and is administered into either a vein or a muscle. Its anesthetic effects generally last between 5 and 25 minutes.

An Introduction to Your Dosage of Ketamine

The dosage of ketamine hydrochloride (Ketalar®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
 
  • The reason you are receiving ketamine
  • Your weight
  • How you respond to the medication
  • How it is administered (into a vein or a muscle)
  • Other medications given with ketamine.
 
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
 

Ketamine Dosing for Inducing General Anesthesia

The initial intravenous (IV) dosage for general anesthesia is usually between 1 mg and 4.5 mg per kg of body weight (about 0.5 mg to 2 mg per pound). The average amount used to provide 5 to 10 minutes of anesthesia is 2 mg per kg (about 1 mg per pound). Ketamine is usually administered slowly, over 60 seconds.
 
Ketamine may be given in lower doses and at a slower rate when used in addition to diazepam (Valium®). The standard initial intravenous dosage of ketamine in these cases is 1 mg to 2 mg per kg of body weight (about 0.5 mg to 1 mg per pound) at a rate of 0.5 mg per kg per minute. Diazepam 2 mg to 5 mg is given separately, via IV, over a 60-second period. Up to 15 mg of diazepam may be needed. This dosing strategy may help reduce some of the mental and mood side effects of ketamine.
 
The initial intramuscular (IM) dosage of ketamine for general anesthesia is between 6.5 mg and 13 mg per kg of body weight (about 3 mg to 6 mg per pound). The average amount used to provide 12 to 25 minutes of anesthesia is 10 mg per kg (about 5 mg per pound).
 
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