Together we will beat cancer


Curious about ketamine

12 Nov 2017 11:19

Does anyone know anything about the side effects of ketamine

I used the be injected in the leg with it before every lumber puncture  aged 2,3 and 4years. Around my ears 20s I worked at gosh and started to have night terrors  of being trapped in a 1970s babies shapes toy (a blue and red ball with holes,  I see in detail the slated arch ceiling with needle like mobile s and as I panic trying to get down I see myself lying on my side surrounded by nurses in tall hats and pink dresses There is a small table behind me and a drink,  I have a huge needle in my back.

When I check my hospital notes today my pressures went too high on some of the L.P.s was I hallucinatingredients? Just too scarred,  or imagined it years later in dreams?  Or can the ketamine or experience really bring on these sureal thoughts? 

Re: Curious about ketamine

13 Nov 2017 09:50 in response to Midnightfish


I am not sure I can give much advice but last year while I was in intensive care after having a carcenoma removed I was in a lot of pain. Prior to my admittance to Hospital I was on quite a lot of morphine so they tried to use Ketamine to help with pain relief. Thankfully I can’t remember much about the ITU but I can definitely remember being given Ketamine. I also had the strangest hallucination type side effects, such as a large orange striped cat sitting above my head on the pillow looking down on me and lots of strangely dressed, colourful,huge nurses all around me and it felt like everyone and everything was in caving in on me and I. my face! I am due to see a surgeon soon and I will make sure they never use Ketamine within my treatment plan again! 

Re: Curious about ketamine

14 Nov 2017 14:20 in response to Midnightfish

Hi Midnightfish and thanks for posting

The simple answer to your question is I can’t say for sure, but I imagine the ketamine caused you to have these surreal thoughts.

Ketamine does have some known common side effects. These are described as causing behavioural and mental changes but only temporarily. These side effects include abnormal dreams, hallucinations, nightmares, confusion, agitation and abnormal behaviour. So, as you can see this may have been the cause of the surreal thoughts. You can read in more detail about Ketamine and the side effects on the EMC (Electronic Medicine Compendium) here.

You explained that your hospital notes said that your pressures went too high on some of your lumber punctures. There are many reason for why ‘opening pressures’ are high. Some of the reasons could be due to infection, disease burden, the build-up of cerebral fluid (cerebral oedema) and in some cases the pressures can be caused for a false positive reason. One of the causes of a false positive result could have been due to your positioning at the time.

Ultimately, I think you need to discuss what you have read from your notes with the medical team. They may be able to read through the notes and explain the situation at the time.

So, do get in contact with your doctor or clinical nurse specialist (if you have one).

I hope this has been helpful. Please do get back to us if you have any more questions or if you prefer you can call us on 0808 800 4040. We are here from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Best wishes