According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “High doses of ketamine may result in severe respiratory depression, muscle twitches, dizziness, slurred speech, nausea, and vomiting.” Many of the symptoms can be very dangerous in an overdose situation. Fortunately, ketamine overdose can be treated, especially if the individual is taken to the hospital as soon as possible.
Call 911 Immediately
If you think your friend or even someone you do not know has overdosed on ketamine, it is very important that the individual receive treatment as soon as possible. They will also need to be in a hospital, especially because of the breathing issues associated with ketamine overdose. It is important to call 911 right away, to wait with the person while the ambulance is on its way, and to go to the hospital with the individual in order to give the healthcare professionals any information you have on what the individual took.
Treating Respiratory Depression
Ketamine overdose is often treated as a poisoning, and as such, each symptom is treated separately in order to ensure the person’s safety. Respiratory depression is one of the most common symptoms of ketamine overdose as well as one of the most dangerous symptoms. According to the National Library of Medicine, this issue “usually responds well to assisted ventilation and supplemental oxygen.” While intubation is “rarely necessary,” it may be considered in individuals who have overdosed on a large amount of the drug and/or “have more prolonged CNS or respiratory depression.”
Treating Nausea and vomiting
These are serious symptoms, especially coupled with the issue of respiratory depression, because they can cause an individual to asphyxiate. Patients should be watched for signs of nausea and other issues, and sometimes, medication may be given if it isn’t likely to increase the negative effects of the overdose.