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Ketamine Side Effects

While only some people will experience side effects with ketamine, some of these reactions are potentially serious and require immediate medical attention. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience problems such as severe vomiting, mood changes, or extreme pain. Fortunately, side effects of this anesthetic tend to be minor, including things such as blurred vision, a rapid heartbeat, and nightmares.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Ketamine

Just like any medicine, ketamine hydrochloride (Ketalar®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who receives the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with ketamine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Ketamine Side Effects

Some side effects of ketamine are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • An abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Slow breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Rigid muscles or muscle contractions that may result in abnormal movements that resemble seizures
  • Extreme pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Mood changes, such as:
    • Extreme confusion
    • Agitation
    • Excitement
    • Irrational behavior
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew About Chronic Pain Medications

Ketamine Drug Information

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