Long-Term Side Effects of Ketamine

Ketamine, originally used as an anesthetic, has gained attention for its use in treating certain mental health conditions like severe depression. However, it’s important to be aware of its potential long-term side effects, especially when used frequently or in high doses.

Side Effects of Ketamine

1. Bladder and Urinary Tract Issues

Ketamine can harm your bladder and urinary tract. If you use it a lot, you might notice symptoms like pain when you pee, needing to pee more often, and even blood in your urine. In severe cases, this can lead to more serious bladder conditions.

2. Liver Damage

Your liver works hard to break down drugs like ketamine. Over time, this can strain your liver, possibly leading to liver damage. You might not notice symptoms right away, but it’s a serious concern for frequent users.

3. Kidney Problems

Just like with the liver, ketamine can also affect your kidneys. They filter waste from your blood, and drugs can make this process harder, potentially leading to kidney damage.

4. Memory and Cognitive Issues

Using ketamine often can affect your brain, especially how you remember things and think. You might find it harder to concentrate, learn new stuff, or remember things.

5. Psychological Dependence

Even though ketamine isn’t as addictive as some drugs, you can still become mentally dependent on it. This means you might feel like you need ketamine to feel normal or happy, which can be a big problem.

6. Mood Changes

Some people experience mood swings or changes in their mental health with long-term ketamine use. This can be things like feeling depressed or anxious more often.

7. Hallucinations

Ketamine can cause hallucinations, which means seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. With long-term use, these effects can become more intense or even lead to a disconnected feeling from reality.

8. Tolerance

Over time, your body gets used to ketamine, so you might need more of it to feel the same effects. This can lead to using higher doses, which increases the risk of side effects.

9. Risk of Injuries

Because ketamine affects your coordination and judgment, there’s a higher chance of accidents and injuries, especially if you’re using it frequently.

10. Weakened Immune System

Regular drug use can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections.


While ketamine can be helpful for some medical conditions, it’s crucial to use it responsibly and be aware of these potential long-term side effects. Always talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you have about using ketamine.

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