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Ketamine

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  • used for dissociative and hallucinatory effects
  • intranasal/PO/(IV/IM).
  • produces greater degree of dissociation than other drugs of abuse
  • can also produce a state where the users are unconcerned whether they live or die
  • long term use of high doses has the potential to interfere with memory, learning and attention
  • CVS toxicity (enhanced by co-ingestion of alcohol):
    • reflex sympathetic activation
      • hypertension
      • tachycardia & palpitations
  • Respiratory toxicity (enhanced by co-ingestion of alcohol):
    • respiratory depression
    • apnoea
  • Negativism, confusion, hostility, delirium
  • Anterograde amnesia
  • Treatment:
    • place in quiet, dark room until patient recovers
    • diazepam/midazolam may be given for unresponsive panic attack

Further reading

Smith KM et al. Club drugs: methylenedioxymetamphetamine, flunitrazepam, ketamine hydrochloride, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Am J Health-Syst Pharm, 2002; 59:1067-76


©Charles Gomersall, April, 2014 unless otherwise stated. The author, editor and The Chinese University of Hong Kong take no responsibility for any adverse event resulting from the use of this webpage.
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