Ketamine injection

Ketamine is an anesthetic medication. It promotes sleep before and during surgery. A healthcare provider will inject this medication into your vein, usually in a clinic or hospital setting. The brand name of this medication is Ketalar®.

What is this medication?

Ketamine (KEE ta meen) is an anesthetic. It is used to produce sleep before and during surgery.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ketalar

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • head injury
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ketamine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This drug is injected into a vein or muscle. It is given by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your health care provider about the use of this drug in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 16 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This drug is not for regular use.

What may interact with this medication?

This medicine may interact with the following medications:

  • aminophylline
  • antihistamines for allergy, cough, and cold
  • certain medicines for anxiety or sleep
  • certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heartbeat
  • certain medicines for depression like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline
  • certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, primidone
  • medicines that relax muscles for surgery
  • narcotic medicines for pain
  • other general anesthetics like isoflurane, propofol
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • theophylline

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this drug.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand up or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effects of this drug. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions (skin rash, itching or hives; swelling of the face, lips, or tongue)
  • hallucinations
  • heartbeat rhythm changes (trouble breathing; chest pain; dizziness; fast, irregular heartbeat; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls)
  • increase in blood pressure
  • light-colored stool
  • liver injury (dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; loss of appetite, right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired, yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • loss of contact with reality
  • low blood pressure (dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired)
  • trouble breathing

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • lack or loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • pain, redness, or irritation at site where injected
  • vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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