Have you ever heard of Ketamine? Well, if not, this blog will help you understand all about it. 

In layman’s terms, Ketamine is a medicine primarily used for anesthesia and pain relief. It belongs to a class of drugs called ‘dissociative anesthetics’. Healthcare providers consider Ketamine a schedule III non-narcotic substance. It works inside the body by blocking pain signals in the brain and inducing a trance-like state. 

But when should you take this medicine? Or, after taking it, are there any side effects as well? You’ll get to know everything here, so keep reading! 

Why Is Ketamine Used?

Let’s first understand Ketamine uses. 

Typically the medication is used only by healthcare professionals for anesthesia during surgeries or any other medical procedures. It works excellently in emergency situations as it acts rapidly inside the body. 

Along with that, Ketamine is used for pain management. Especially when no other pain killers work, ketamine is recommended by physicians. Its unique mechanism of action makes it useful for treating chronic pain conditions.

Is Ketamine Given for Depression?

Yes, Ketamine for depression isn’t any myth! 

Recently, the medication has gained attention for its potential to treat depression. As per research, low doses of ketamine administered intravenously can rapidly alleviate depressive symptoms in some people.

To help you understand better, Ketamine acts on certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These could be anything like glutamate. For instance, glutamate plays a crucial role in mood regulation. 

What Is the Right Ketamine Dosage?

The dosage of ketamine depends on the intended use and the individual’s response to the medication. 

  • For anesthesia, ketamine is given intravenously at doses ranging from 1 to 4.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. 
  • For depression treatment, lower doses are used, often starting at 0.5 milligrams per kilogram. 

In short, it is important for doses to be carefully monitored and adjusted by a healthcare professional to minimize the risk of adverse effects.

Are There Any Side Effects of Ketamine?

Yes, Ketamine can lead to multiple side effects in different people. And therefore understanding these side effects is crucial for both medical professionals and patients. 

Let’s understand all the ketamine side effects one by one. 

1. Psychological Side Effects

Ketamine can induce hallucinations, confusion, and disorientation. It happens when you begin to take high doses of Ketamine. Some people may experience a dissociative state where they feel detached from reality. These effects are usually temporary but can be distressing.

2. Heart Related Side Effects

Ketamine can temporarily increase heart rate and blood pressure. In people with cardiovascular issues, this could lead to complications such as arrhythmias or ischemic events. That is why, people who already have heart-related issues must stay in touch with healthcare professionals. 

3. Respiratory Side Effects

Ketamine can depress respiratory function. And this can lead to shallow breathing or respiratory depression, especially when given at high doses. This risk is further increased when combined with other respiratory depressants like opioids or alcohol.

4. Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of ketamine medication. This usually happens during the induction phase of anesthesia. Antiemetic medications may be given to mitigate these effects.

5. Other Side Effects

Some people may experience vivid dreams, nightmares, or feelings of dysphoria upon emerging from ketamine-induced anesthesia. Proper post-operative care and support are essential to manage these phenomena.

6. Cognitive Impairment

Prolonged or frequent use of ketamine, especially in high doses, may impair cognitive function, memory, and concentration. Long-term studies on the cognitive effects of ketamine are still limited, but caution is warranted, particularly in individuals using ketamine for off-label purposes such as depression treatment.

7. Urinary Tract Effects

Chronic ketamine use has been associated with urinary tract issues such as cystitis and bladder dysfunction, collectively known as “ketamine bladder syndrome.” Symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency, and incontinence, which can significantly impact quality of life.

Read More: The Benefits of Daily Meditation for Stress Reduction and Overall Well-being

Final Words

Overall, Ketamine treatment can only be given by healthcare professionals. And since it has a lot of side effects, one must understand all the health related factors. Hope this article helps.