What is Ketamine?

What is Ketamine?

Most people know Ketamine for its history of abuse as a club drug. But this drug can be one of the most significant advancements in treating severe depression in coming years. 


How can one drug hold such potential? The answer lies in how it affects your brain. 

Your doctor won’t give you Ketamine carelessly. But Ketamine is expected to bring people back from the depths of depression. It might be the last thing you wish for a drug that can potentially knock you out. 


So, what exactly is Ketamine?


Ketamine is a dissociative injected anesthetic that is available (by prescription) for human and veterinary usage in the U.S. since the 1970s. This drug can produce psychedelic effects – causing people to see, hear, smell, taste, or feel that is not physically present in reality. 


It is sometimes used illegally by people to get high. When sold unlawfully, Ketamine usually comes as a white powder. It can also be made into pills or dissolved in a liquid. 

Various clinical trials and studies are currently developing to evaluate Ketamine as a treatment for severe depression. In fact, early scientific indications are showing promising results. 


Effects of Ketamine

Use of any drug always comes with some risk; Ketamine is no exception. It’s important to be careful when taking any drug. 


The effects of Ketamine are different based on the following factors:


  • the health of the person
  • individual’s drug tolerance
  • the amount taken
  • the strength of the dose


The effects that you may experience include:


  • feeling relaxed
  • hallucinations
  • feeling detached from your body
  • confusion and clumsiness
  • increased blood pressure
  • anxiety and panic
  • low sensitivity to pain


To better understand the effects of Ketamine, read our guide, “how ketamine works for depression?


Long-term effects of Ketamine


Regular use of Ketamine may potentially cause:


  • flashbacks
  • headaches
  • poor sense of smell 
  • poor memory and lack of concentration
  • personality changes or depression
  • ketamine bladder syndrome 
  • abdominal pain 
  • dependence on the drug
  • addiction
  • financial and social problems


What happens when you overdose?

If you take a large amount of Ketamine, you could overdose. Call an ambulance as soon as possible if you have these symptoms:


  • rigid muscles or inability to move
  • high blood pressure and fast heartbeat
  • convulsions
  • coma or near-death experience
  • death


Note: call an ambulance straight away for such cases. Ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police.



Giving up Ketamine is challenging as the body gets dependent on functioning with it. Withdrawal symptoms usually last for a week. Make sure you know what Ketamine is used for  before taking any such drugs. The withdrawal symptoms include:


  • cravings for Ketamine
  • tiredness
  • chills and sweating
  • tremors or restlessness
  • no/ lack of appetite
  • anxiety or depression
  • irregular heartbeat