What are the side effects of ketamine?

The effects of ketamine depend on the dose and can range from slight perceptual disruptions and sedation to paralysis and full dissociation. Other effects include:1

  • Drowsiness
  • Dissociative (body dissociates from the mind)
  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Changes in perception, cognition, and emotion
  • Vivid images
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Ego dissolution
  • Transcendence of space and time
  • Mystical experiences
  • Feelings of death and rebirth
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Feeling of awe and wonder
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Distorted perceptions of body and self
  • Loss of coordination and disorientation
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Muscle tremors
  • Psychotic episode
  • Psychological distress
  • Difficulty breathing


1. VETS (n.d.). The Ins and Outs of Psychedelic Substances. Modern Recovery Veterans & Psychedelic-assisted Therapy. VETS. https://bit.ly/3Gpuh6E