What are the side effects of ketamine?


Ketamine can have several side effects, both during and after its administration. Here are some of the key side effects as discussed by experts, including Tim Ferriss and Dr. John Krystal:

  1. Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea is a common side effect that can be somewhat mitigated by pre-treatment with anti-nausea medications like Zofran [1].

  2. Blood Pressure: Ketamine can cause a slight increase in blood pressure, which could be a concern especially for patients already experiencing high blood pressure. This is sometimes managed with beta-blockers like Propranolol [1].

  3. Psychological Effects: Dissociation or feelings of unreality can occur during ketamine infusions. Psychological preparation and reassurance during the session are critical in managing these effects [1].

  4. Ketamine Bladder Syndrome: Frequent recreational use of ketamine can lead to serious urinary tract issues known as Ketamine Bladder Syndrome, which includes persistent lower urinary tract symptoms [2].

  5. Chronic Use and Dependence: Long term or frequent use of ketamine can lead to tolerance, where higher doses are required to achieve the same effect. This might escalate to compulsive use patterns and dependence, particularly concerning in individuals with a history of substance use disorders [3].

    Managing Ketamine Side Effects

    Dr. John Krystal discusses the most common side effects of ketamine, including nausea and blood pressure changes, and how they can be managed with medication. He also explains how to address the psychological side effects, such as dissociation, by preparing patients beforehand and reassuring them during the session. Tim Ferriss shares a story about a sign at Burning Man that reminds people of the effects of drugs.

    Tim Ferriss Show

    All Things Ketamine, The Most Comprehensive Podcast Episode Ever — Dr. John Krystal

This information is sourced from the discussion on ketamine and its side effects from various episodes of the "Tim Ferriss Show."