Common side-effects of ketamine therapy include nausea, vomiting, dizziness,
transiently increased heart rate and blood pressure, blurred vision, drowsiness, vivid
dreams and nightmares, flashbacks, an out of body experience, an unpleasant feeling, or
a pleasant feeling, feeling confused, decreased motor coordination.
Less common side-effects include the following:
Allergic: hives, itch, or a drug rash all over the body. In severe cases anaphylaxis with,
breathing difficulties, facial, lip, throat, and tongue swelling may occur. Hospitalization is
possible with severe cases. Death is also possible.
Cardiovascular: palpitations, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, left ventricular
dysfunction in patients with heart failure. Respiratory and cardiac arrest requiring
resuscitation are possible.
Gastrointestinal: loss of appetite
Genito-urinary: cystitis, bladder inflammation or irritation.
Muscular: muscle stiffness and spasms or jerky movements resembling seizures.
Neurologic: confusion, seizures, transient memory loss.
Ophthalmologic: double vision, increased intraocular pressure, jerky eye movements.
Psychiatric: anxiety, confusion, depression, disorientation, sadness, dissociative state
(feeling drunk, drugged, “out of it” or detached), unusual thoughts, extreme fear,
excitement, irrational behavior and insomnia. Drug tolerance may develop after
prolonged use. Ketamine is a controlled drug. Dependence, abuse and withdrawal
symptoms are possible when ketamine is misused. Fainting may occur if you have a
needle or blood phobia.
Respiratory: increased laryngeal and tracheal secretions, laryngospasm, respiratory
Skin: Pain, redness, bruising or a reaction at the infusion site may occur.