Does Ketamine Have Side Effects?



We are frequently asked about possible side effects of Ketamine during our pre- treatment consultations at Palomar KLN. I thought it would be helpful to write a short blog about it. The benefits of low dose ketamine outweigh the risk most of the time. However, there are no medications out there that are side effect free.

The vast majority of our patients in the clinic tolerate the treatment well. Most describe the treatment as a "floating" or "out of body" experience. This effect usually resolves after 20-30 minutes.


Here are a few other effects that may be experienced with low dose ketamine infusion.


Nausea


Probably the most common but treatable side effect we see is nausea. This is often described as a vertigo or motion sickness feeling. If nausea does occur, it typically resolves fairly quickly after treatment. At Palomar KLN, we have been very successful at preventing nausea by treating with medications prior to the infusion. Some effective medications we commonly use include Meclizine, Zofran, and scopolamine patches.


Hemodynamic Changes


We do see small increases in blood pressure and sometimes heart rate. These findings are usually mild or marginal changes that also resolve quickly after the infusion has ended. At Palomar KLN we conduct a thorough pre infusion health history and closely monitor blood pressure and heart rate during the infusion for your safety. It's important to provide us with a complete health history and list of medications prior to the infusion.


Cognitive Effects


We know that low dose ketamine therapy produces rapid relief of suicidal ideation and treatment resistant depression. Thi