advertisement
12 September 2006

Ketamine

Ketamine hydrochloride is a dissociative anaesthetic developed in the early 1960s. It is now mostly used as a veterinary anaesthetic.

0
Alternative names:
K, Special-k, vitamin K, jet, cat Valium, cat tranquilliser

Ketamine hydrochloride is a dissociative anaesthetic developed in the early 1960s. It has the advantage of inhibiting breathing to a lesser degree than other anaesthetics, but is now rarely used in humans due to side effects, including psychedelic episodes (visions).

Today the drug is mostly used as a veterinary anaesthetic.

Appearance
Ketamine is usually sold as a tablet, a white powder, or a clear liquid. It is snorted, smoked, dissolved in a liquid or injected intramuscularly.

Depending on how the drug is taken, its effects will be felt in anything from one minute to half an hour. When injected, the effects will be felt very quickly and last for less than an hour. When taken orally, it may take longer, but the effects could last for as long as two hours.

At low doses, effects include inebriation, clumsiness, delayed or reduced sensations and increased sociability.

At higher doses, effects may include nausea, difficulty moving, blackouts, delirium, depression, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and so-called near death experiences (also known as "K-Hole").

Use of the drug has also been linked to amnesia, depression, and long-term memory and cognition problems. It can be both physically and psychologically addictive.

Due to its dissociative qualities (i.e. it has the effect of reducing the user’s awareness of what is happening to them and around them), users can be taken advantage of. Ketamine has been used as a rape drug.

Ketamine should not be used with alcohol or any other respiratory depressants.

Sources:
Erowid
US Drug Enforcement Administration
US National Institute on Drug Abuse

Reviewed by Peter Powis, Stepping Stones Addiction Centre

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Hello? »

SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Earworms: Let it go Is it bad to sleep with earplugs all the time?

SEE: Do women hear better than men?

The reason why men often appear not to be listening could be because they actually can't hear you.

Confident smile? »

Acidic drinks can harm your kids' smiles The facts on bleaching your teeth Am I taking good care of my teeth?

Why are my teeth stained?

We know the rules – brush your teeth twice a day and floss to keep them healthy. But, have you ever wondered what causes those stains that sometimes appear?