- An injection yields a quick response, with effects occurring in seconds to minutes.
- “Snorting” leads to effects in roughly 5 to 15 minutes (this is the most common method of abuse).
- Oral consumption requires between 5 and 30 minutes.
The effects of abuse typically last 1 to 2 hours, but the users judgement, senses and coordination may be affected for up to 24 hours or longer. Sensations the user may seek include floating, stimulation and visual effects.
High doses may dangerously reduce breathing, lead to muscle spasms or weakness, dizziness, balance difficulty, impaired vision, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, and severe confusion.
Binge use, where the user indulges in the drug in excess amounts in a short period of time has been reported, as well.
|75 to 125 mg||Intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous injection|
|60 to 250 mg||Insufflation (intranasal or “snorting”)|
|50 to 100 mg||Intravenously (IV)|
|200 to 300 mg||Orally (by mouth)|
Abuse of large doses can also lead to powerful visual hallucinations that are intensified by environmental stimuli. Coma and deep unconsciousness can occur. When higher doses of ketamine are abused, or during emergence, it is reported to produce and vivid dreams and an “out-of-body”, “K-hole” or “near-death” hallucinogenic experience, often reported as terrifying (similar to bad LSD trip).
In smaller doses, such as those typically used recreationally, ketamine can lead to various effects such as:
- feelings of calmness and relaxation, relief from pain
- depressed mental state
- detached feeling from body
- slurred speech
- diminished reflexes
- hallucinations lasting from 30 to 60 minutes
- nystagmus (repetitive, uncontrolled movements of the eyes).
|Low-to-moderate doses||Higher doses|
|Cardiovascular||Chest pain, elevated or depressed heart rate, high blood pressure, low blood pressure (rare).||Chest pain, dangerous changes in blood pressure, heart rate.|
|Central Nervous System (CNS)||Agitation, alterations in sight, sound, shapes, time, and body image, confusion, detached feelings, dizziness, drowsiness, flashbacks, hallucinations, lethargy, loss of coordination, numbness, sedation.||Amnesia (memory loss), coma, delirium, elevated body temperature, fear, hallucinations or terrors (k-hole effect), panic, seizures, violent behavior.|
|Gastrointestinal||Nausea and vomiting.||Nausea and vomiting.|
|Renal||Kidney toxicity (with chronic abuse).||Kidney toxicity (with chronic abuse).|
|Respiratory||Increase in breathing rate.||Respiratory depression (with rapid, high doses and if combined with alcohol or other CNS depressants).|
|Other||Salivation (IV use), spasm of the larynx (rare).||Severe anxiety, fear, panic, anxiety, exaggerated strength, and aggression, muscle rigidity, respiratory depression, death from overdose, especially if combined with alcohol, other CNS depressants).|