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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Ketalar

Generic Name: ketamine (Pronunciation: KET a meen)

What is ketamine (Ketalar)?

Ketamine is an anesthetic medication.

Ketamine is used to put you to sleep for surgery and to prevent pain and discomfort during certain medical tests or procedures.

Ketamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of ketamine (Ketalar)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers at once if you have any of these serious side effects within 24 hours after you receive ketamine: severe confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts, or extreme fear.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • slow heart rate, weak or shallow breathing;
  • pain or burning when you urinate; or
  • jerky muscle movements that may look like convulsions.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dream-like feeling;
  • blurred vision, double vision;
  • mild dizziness, drowsiness;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about ketamine (Ketalar)?

You should not receive ketamine if you are allergic to it, or if you have untreated or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure).

Before you receive ketamine, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, a history of alcoholism, or if you recently drank large amounts of alcohol.

Ketamine may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

You may feel strange or slightly confused when you first come out of anesthesia. Tell your caregivers if these feelings are severe or unpleasant. It may take you longer to recover from anesthesia with ketamine if you have recently used a barbiturate (Butisol, Mebaral, Seconal, Nembutal, Solfoton, and others) or narcotic medication (Vicodin, Dilaudid, OxyContin, Percocet, Actiq, Duragesic, Methadose, Dolophine, Kadian, MS Contin, and others).

Tell your caregivers at once if you have any of these serious side effects within 24 hours after you receive ketamine: severe confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts, or extreme fear.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. You will probably not be allowed to drive yourself home after your surgery or medical procedure. Avoid driving or operating machinery for at least 24 hours after you have received ketamine.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as slow heart rate, weak or shallow breathing, feeling like you might pass out, pain or burning when you urinate, or jerky muscle movements that may look like convulsions.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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