Ketamine is a commercially available anesthetic for intravenous and intramuscular use. It contains analgesic properties and is available on the street in powder, tablet, and liquid form; it can be smoked or taken intranasally ("snorted"), orally, intramuscularly, or intravenously (109). The onset of effects depends on the route of administration; when taken orally, effects start within 20 minutes and can last up to 3 hours, whereas given intravenously, effects will be seen within 30 seconds and last about 30 minutes (110). Tolerance develops after repeated use, with a decreased duration of effect (111).

Physical effects may include a cocaine-like "rush," hypertension, dysrhythmias, nausea, and vomiting, slurred speech, nystagmus, lack of coordination, and seizures. On recovery, "emergence phenomena" may occur, with psychological dissociation or out of body (flying or floating) sensations, confusion, hallucinations, synesthesia, and depersonalization (112). Such dissociative states may result in the individual becoming divorced from reality, and these effects, coupled with possible loss of coordination and pronounced analgesia, can result in serious accidents to users. A dose-dependent depression of respiration may occur (113), and this can be a particular problem when taken with other respiratory depressant drugs, such as benzodiazepines and alcohol, occasionally resulting in death (114).

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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