Author: Gary Jackson

Ketamine: What Is It, uses, treatments, effects, and more effects

It is critically important that an individual who engages in inappropriate use of ketamine get professional counseling and treatment. Individuals who take ketamine recreationally report sensations, such as being separated from their body or a pleasant feeling of floating. Some people have an almost complete sensory detachment that they compare to a near-death experience. Ketamine makes people feel detached from their environment, eases pain, and produces hallucinations, which has led to its inappropriate use. Because several other trials indicate ketamine may have significant antianxiety effects, the authors encouraged future studies to explore this possible benefit more fully.

However, if you have abused ketamine for a non-medical use, it can harm your health, and you need to seek urgent medical help. Ketamine can be administered during abdominal operations, orthopedic procedures, surgical burn treatment, some dental procedures, and many other types of surgery. This medication is used for different types of anesthesia, including general anesthesia and spinal anesthesia. If this progresses to vomiting, it can be very dangerous, as those in the midst of a state of dissociated confusion frequently end up supine—presenting a serious choking hazard. If you do see someone on ketamine, take a moment to roll them on their side or into the recovery position if possible to prevent this from happening.

Ketamine and alcohol

Powdered ketamine is often cut with other drugs, so it’s very hard to tell what the long-term effects will be—interactions can be very unpredictable. Consequently, the long-term effects are varied, but they fall into several main areas. As with all psychotropic drugs, the pleasantness of the hallucination depends on the user’s state of mind, and if the user is seeking to escape unhappiness, the hallucinations are likely to be unpleasant.

effects of ketamine on humans

Several studies have demonstrated an unpredictable inter-individual variability of ketamine pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics [35,36]. Moreover, metabolic substrates and/or inhibitors or inducers of the same cytochrome P450 isoforms (CYP) implicated in ketamine metabolism are administered concurrently and thus important clinical and forensic consequences are expected. This work aims to perform a literature review of ketamine biotransformation and metabolomics, their pharmacological, toxicological effects, which have not been characterized sufficiently in most studies. Aside from its medical use as an anesthetic, ketamine is prescribed by some healthcare providers as an alternative treatment for severe depression. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved ketamine as a treatment for any psychiatric disorder. The only FDA-approved option is Spravato, a nasal spray made from a derivative of ketamine, which is used for treatment-resistant depression in adults.

Short-Term Effects of Ketamine

Several studies described that frequently repeated doses of ketamine prolonged its elimination time as long as 11 days [49,53]. In another study, norketamine was detected in urine samples up to 14 days after administration of a single intravenous dose of ketamine to children [49]. Neuroimaging studies specifically examining how ketamine modulates glutamate and gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) have been reviewed.11 Despite the immediate glutamate surge during infusions, it is unclear if glutamate levels remain elevated post-infusion. There’s some suggestion that ketamine could be effective for treatment-resistant depression, a notoriously difficult condition to treat (hence the name).

  • This is often the stage where relapse (going back to using a drug) happens, but with support and the skills learned in treatment, you can reduce the risk of this happening.
  • Aside from the above drug interactions, a 2017 study reports that taking ketamine with amphetamine-like stimulants can produce undesirable effects.
  • In contrast, no recreational use of the drug is safe, as it can cause addiction and adverse health effects that can lead to death.
  • Before Spravato was approved in 2019, ketamine was prescribed off-label for the treatment of depression.

It can have effects within seconds, and the effects wear off within 15 to 20 minutes. This action can differ for people who have medical issues, such as liver disease or kidney impairment. Ketamine has a rapid action that diminishes sensation, prevents pain, induces sleep, and inhibits memory. This drug can cause a sense of dissociation from reality and may lead to fleeting hallucinations.

The brain on ketamine

In humans, at therapeutic concentrations, CYP2B6, CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 make only a minor contribution to ketamine N-demethylation [54]. Nevertheless, there are some dissonant results regarding enzymes comparative contributions to clinical ketamine metabolism [55]. Non-human data indicate that norketamine crosses the blood–brain barrier and has about one-fifth to one-third the potency of ketamine, contributing to the analgesic and psychomimetic side effects, especially in long infusions or chronic use [56–58]. Ketamine is a phencyclidine derivative and a non-competitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor for which glutamate is the full agonist. It produces a functional dissociation between the thalamocortical and limbic systems, a state that has been termed as dissociative anaesthesia. Considerable variability in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics between individuals that can affect dose-response and toxicological profile has been reported.