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Ketamine 50mg/ml Solution for Injection

Active Ingredient:
ketamine hydrochloride
Panpharma UK Ltd See contact details
ATC code: 
About Medicine
{healthcare_pro_orange} This information is for use by healthcare professionals
Last updated on emc: 27 Sep 2021
1. Name of the medicinal product

Ketamine 50 mg/ml, solution for injection

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Each 1 ml of solution contains:

Ketamine 50mg/ml solution for injection: 57.7 mg of ketamine hydrochloride equivalent to 50 mg ketamine base per ml.

For the full list of excipients see section 6.1.

3. Pharmaceutical form

A clear solution for injection or infusion.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

Ketamine is indicated in children and in adults

Ketamine is recommended:

As an anaesthetic agent for diagnostic and surgical procedures. When used by intravenous or intramuscular injection, Ketamine is best suited for short procedures. With additional doses, or by intravenous infusion, Ketamine can be used for longer procedures. If skeletal muscle relaxation is desired, a muscle relaxant should be used and respiration should be supported.

For the induction of anaesthesia prior to the administration of other general anaesthetic agents.

To supplement other anaesthetic agents.

Specific areas of application or types of procedures:

When the intramuscular route of administration is preferred.

Debridement, painful dressings, and skin grafting in burned patients, as well as other superficial surgical procedures.

Neurodiagnostic procedures such as pneumoencephalograms, ventriculograms, myelograms, and lumbar punctures.

Diagnostic and operative procedures of the eye, ear, nose, and mouth, including dental extractions.

Note: Eye movements may persist during ophthalmological procedures.

Anaesthesia in poor-risk patients with depression of vital functions or where depression of vital functions must be avoided, if at all possible.

Orthopaedic procedures such as closed reductions, manipulations, femoral pinning, amputations, and biopsies.

Sigmoidoscopy and minor surgery of the anus and rectum, circumcision and pilonidal sinus.

Cardiac catheterization procedures.

Caesarian section; as an induction agent in the absence of elevated blood pressure.

Anaesthesia in the asthmatic patient, either to minimise the risks of an attack of bronchospasm developing, or in the presence of bronchospasm where anaesthesia cannot be delayed.

4.2 Posology and method of administration

For intravenous infusion, intravenous injection or intramuscular injection.

NOTE: All doses are given in terms of ketamine base

Adults, elderly (over 65 years) and children:

For surgery in elderly patients ketamine has been shown to be suitable either alone or supplemented with other anaesthetic agents.

Preoperative preparations

Ketamine has been safely used alone when the stomach was not empty. However, since the need for supplemental agents and muscle relaxants cannot be predicted, when preparing for elective surgery it is advisable that nothing be given by mouth for at least six hours prior to anaesthesia.

Premedication with an anticholinergic agent (e.g atropine, hyoscine or glycopyrolate) or another drying agent should be given at an appropriate interval prior to induction to reduce ketamine-induced hypersalivation.

Midazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, or flunitrazepam used as a premedicant or as an adjunct to ketamine, have been effective in reducing the incidence of emergence reactions.

Onset and duration

As with other general anaesthetic agents, the individual response to Ketamine is somewhat varied depending on the dose, route of administration, age of patient, and concomitant use of other agents, so that dosage recommendation cannot be absolutely fixed. The dose should be titrated against the patient's requirements.

Because of rapid induction following intravenous injection, the patient should be in a supported position during administration. An intravenous dose of 2 mg/kg of bodyweight usually produces surgical anaesthesia within 30 seconds after injection and the anaesthetic effect usually lasts 5 to 10 minutes. An intramuscular dose of 10 mg/kg of bodyweight usually produces surgical anaesthesia within 3 to 4 minutes following injection and the anaesthetic effect usually lasts 12 to 25 minutes. Return to consciousness is gradual.

A. Ketamine as the sole anaesthetic agent

Intravenous Infusion

The use of Ketamine by continuous infusion enables the dose to be titrated more closely, thereby reducing the amount of drug administered compared with intermittent administration. This results in a shorter recovery time and better stability of vital signs.

A solution containing 1 mg/ml of ketamine in dextrose 5% or sodium chloride 0.9% is suitable for administration by infusion.

General Anaesthesia Induction

An infusion corresponding to 0.5 – 2 mg/kg as total induction dose.

Maintenance of anaesthesia

Anaesthesia may be maintained using a microdrip infusion of 10 – 45 microgram/kg/min (approximately 1 – 3 mg/min).

The rate of infusion will depend on the patient's reaction and response to anaesthesia. The dosage required may be reduced when a long acting neuromuscular blocking agent is used.

Intermittent Injection


Intravenous Route

The initial dose of Ketamine administered intravenously may range from 1 mg/kg to 4.5mg/kg (in terms of ketamine base).The average amount required to produce 5 to 10 minutes of surgical anaesthesia has been 2.0 mg/kg. It is recommended that intravenous administration be accomplished slowly (over a period of 60 seconds). More rapid administration may result in respiratory depression and enhanced pressor response.

Dosage in Obstetrics

In obstetrics, for vaginal delivery or in caesarean section, intravenous doses ranging from 0.2 to 1.0 mg/kg are recommended (see section 4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation).

Intramuscular Route

The initial dose of Ketamine administered intramuscularly may range from 6.5 mg/kg to 13 mg/kg (in terms of ketamine base). A low initial intramuscular dose of 4 mg/kg has been used in diagnostic manoeuvres and procedures not involving intensely painful stimuli. A dose of 10 mg/kg will usually produce 12 to 25 minutes of surgical anaesthesia.

Dosage in Hepatic Insufficiency:

Dose reductions should be considered in patients with cirrhosis or other types of liver impairment. (see section 4.4 Special Warnings and Special Precautions for Use)

Dosage in Obstetrics

Data are lacking for intramuscular injection and maintenance infusion of ketamine in the parturient population, and recommendations cannot be made. Available data are presented in Section 5.2.

Maintenance of general anaesthesia

Lightening of anaesthesia may be indicated by nystagmus, movements in response to stimulation, and vocalization. Anaesthesia is maintained by the administration of additional doses of Ketamine by either the intravenous or intramuscular route.

Each additional dose is from ½ to the full induction dose recommended above for the route selected for maintenance, regardless of the route used for induction.

The larger the total amount of Ketamine administered, the longer will be the time to complete recovery.

Purposeless and tonic-clonic movements of extremities may occur during the course of anaesthesia. These movements do not imply a light plane and are not indicative of the need for additional doses of the anaesthetic.

B. Ketamine as induction agent prior to the use of other general anaesthetics

Induction is accomplished by a full intravenous or intramuscular dose of Ketamine as defined above. If Ketamine has been administered intravenously and the principal anaesthetic is slow-acting, a second dose of Ketamine may be required 5 to 8 minutes following the initial dose. If Ketamine has been administered intramuscularly and the principal anaesthetic is rapid-acting, administration of the principal anaesthetic may be delayed up to 15 minutes following the injection of Ketamine.

C. Ketamine as supplement to anaesthetic agents

Ketamine is clinically compatible with the commonly used general and local anaesthetic agents when an adequate respiratory exchange is maintained. The dose of Ketamine for use in conjunction with other anaesthetic agents is usually in the same range as the dosage stated above; however, the use of another anaesthetic agent may allow a reduction in the dose of Ketamine.

D. Management of patients in recovery

Following the procedure the patient should be observed but left undisturbed. This does not preclude the monitoring of vital signs. If, during the recovery, the patient shows any indication of emergence delirium, consideration may be given to the use of diazepam (5 to 10 mg I.V. in an adult). A hypnotic dose of a thiobarbiturate (50 to 100 mg I.V.) may be used to terminate severe emergence reactions. If any one of these agents is employed, the patient may experience a longer recovery period.

For instructions on dilution of the medicinal product before administration, see section 6.6.

4.3 Contraindications

Ketamine is contraindicated:

- In persons in whom an elevation of blood pressure would constitute a serious hazard (heart failure, severe cardiovascular disease, history of stroke, brain trauma, cerebral edema, or intracerebral hemorrhage, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxic crisis - see section 4.8 Undesirable effects).

- In patients who have shown hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

- In patients with eclampsia or pre-eclampsia.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

To be used only in hospitals by or under the supervision of experienced medically qualified anaesthetists except under emergency conditions.

As with any general anaesthetic agent, resuscitative equipment should be available and ready for use.

Respiratory depression may occur with overdosage of Ketamine, in which case supportive ventilation should be employed. Mechanical support of respiration is preferred to the administration of analeptics. The intravenous dose should be administered over a period of 60 seconds. More rapid administration may result in transient respiratory depression or apnoea and enhanced pressor response.

Because pharyngeal and laryngeal reflexes usually remain active, mechanical stimulation of the pharynx should be avoided unless muscle relaxants, with proper attention to respiration, are used.

Although aspiration of contrast medium has been reported during Ketamine anaesthesia under experimental conditions (Taylor, P A and Towey, R M, Brit. Med. J. 1971, 2: 688), in clinical practice aspiration is seldom a problem.

In surgical procedures involving visceral pain pathways, Ketamine should be supplemented with an agent which obtunds visceral pain.

When Ketamine is used on an outpatient basis, the patient should not be released until recovery from anaesthesia is complete and then should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Ketamine should be used with caution in patients with the following conditions:

Use with caution in the chronic alcoholic and the acutely alcohol-intoxicated patient.

Ketamine is metabolised in the liver and hepatic clearance is required for termination of clinical effects. A prolonged duration of action may occur in patients with cirrhosis or other types of liver impairment. Dose reductions should be considered in these patients. Abnormal liver function tests associated with ketamine use have been reported, particularly with extended use (>3 days) or drug abuse.

Since an increase in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure has been reported during Ketamine anaesthesia, Ketamine should be used with special caution in patients with preanaesthetic elevated cerebrospinal fluid pressure.

Use with caution in patients with a history of seizures or mental health disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, acute psychosis).

Use with caution in patients with globe injuries and increased intraocular pressure (e.g. glaucoma) because the pressure may increase significantly after a single dose of ketamine.

Use in caution in patients with acute intermittent porphyria.

Use in caution in patients with hyperthyroidism or patients receiving thyroid replacement (increased risk of hypertension and tachycardia).

Use in caution in patients with pulmonary or upper respiratory infection (ketamine sensitises the gag reflex, potentially causing laryngospasm)

Use in caution in patients with intracranial mass lesions, a presence of head injury, or Hydrocephalus.

Emergence Reaction

The psychological manifestations vary in severity between pleasant dream-like states, vivid imagery, hallucinations, nightmares and emergence delirium (often consisting of dissociative or floating sensations), In some cases these states have been accompanied by confusion, excitement, and irrational behaviour which a few patients recall as an unpleasant experience. (See section 4.8 Undesirable Effects).

Emergence delirium phenomena may occur during the recovery period. The incidence of these reactions may be reduced if verbal and tactile stimulation of the patient is minimised during the recovery period. This does not preclude the monitoring of vital signs.

Because of the substantial increase in myocardial oxygen consumption, ketamine should be used in caution in patients with hypovolemia, dehydration or cardiac disease, especially coronary artery disease (e.g. congestive heart failure, myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction). In addition ketamine should be used with caution in patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension and tachyarrhythmias.

Cardiac function should be continually monitored during the procedure in patients found to have hypertension or cardiac decompensation.

Elevation of blood pressure begins shortly after the injection of Ketamine, reaches a maximum within a few minutes and usually returns to preanaesthetic values within 15 minutes after injection. The median peak rise of blood pressure in clinical studies has ranged from 20 to 25 percent of preanaesthetic values. Depending on the condition of the patient, this elevation of blood pressure may be considered a beneficial effect, or in others, an adverse reaction.

Long-Term use:

Cases of cystitis including haemorrhagic cystitis, acute kidney injury, hydronephrosis and ureteral disorders have been reported in patients being given ketamine on a long term basis, especially in the setting of ketamine abuse. This adverse reaction develops in patients receiving long term ketamine treatment after a time ranging from 1 month to several years. Ketamine is not indicated nor recommended for long term use.

Drug Abuse and Dependence:

Ketamine has been reported as being a drug of abuse. Reports suggest that ketamine produces a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to, flashbacks, hallucinations, dysphoria, anxiety, insomnia, or disorientation. Adverse effects have also been reported: see "Long-Term use". If used on a daily basis for a few weeks, dependence and tolerance may develop, particularly in individuals with a history of drug abuse and dependence. Therefore, the use of Ketamine should be closely supervised and it should be prescribed and administered with caution.

Cases of hepatic disorders, in particular cholestatsis of cholangitis type, that may be severe, have been reported in case of prolonged (> 3 days) and/or repeated use or in case of abuse/misuse. In some cases of very prolonged use at high doses, these lesions have led to liver transplantations. Discontinuation of treatment should be considered in case of disturbances of liver function.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Prolonged recovery time may occur if barbiturates and/or narcotics are used concurrently with Ketamine.

Ketamine is chemically incompatible with barbiturates and diazepam because of precipitate formation. Therefore, these should not be mixed in the same syringe or infusion fluid.

Ketamine may potentiate the neuromuscular blocking effects of atracurium and tubocurarine including respiratory depression with apnea.

The use of halogenated anaesthetics and barbiturates concomitantly with ketamine can lengthen the elimination half-life of ketamine and delay recovery from anaesthesia. Concurrent use of ketamine (especially in high doses or when rapidly administered) with halogenated anaesthetics can increase the risk of developing bradycardia, hypotension or decreased cardiac output.

The use of ketamine with other central nervous system (CNS) depressants (e.g. ethanol, phenothiazines, sedating H1 – blockers or skeletal muscle relaxants) can potentiate CNS depression and/or increase risk of developing respiratory depression. Reduced doses of ketamine may be required with concurrent administration of other anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics.

Ketamine has been reported to antagonise the hypnotic effect of thiopental.

Patients taking thyroid hormones have an increased risk of developing hypertension and tachycardia when given ketamine.

Concomitant use of antihypertensive agents and ketamine increases the risk of developing hypotension.

When ketamine and theophylline or aminophylline (combination of anhydrous theophylline and ethylenediamine) are given concurrently, a clinically significant reduction in the seizure threshold is observed. Unpredictable extensor-type seizures have been reported with concurrent administration of these agents.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation


Ketamine crosses the placenta. This should be borne in mind during operative obstetric procedures in pregnancy.

No controlled clinical studies in pregnancy have been conducted. The use in pregnancy has not been established, and such use is not recommended, with the exception of administration during surgery for abdominal delivery or vaginal delivery.

Some neonates exposed to ketamine at maternal intravenous doses ≥ 1.5 mg/kg during delivery have experienced respiratory depression and low Apgar scores requiring newborn resuscitation.

Marked increases in maternal blood pressure and uterine tone have been observed at intravenous doses greater than 2 mg/kg.

Data are lacking for intramuscular injection and maintenance infusion of ketamine in the parturient population, and recommendations cannot be made. Available data are presented in Section 5.2.

Studies in animals have shown reproductive toxicity (see section 5.3).


The safe use of ketamine during lactation has not been established, and such use is not recommended.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Patients should be cautioned that driving a car, operating hazardous machinery or engaging in hazardous activities should not be undertaken for 24 hours or more after anaesthesia.

This medicine can impair cognitive function and can affect a patient's ability to drive safely. This class of medicine is in the list of drugs included in regulations under 5a of the Road Traffic Act 1988. When prescribing this medicine, patients should be told:

• The medicine is likely to affect your ability to drive

• Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you

• It is an offence to drive while under the influence of this medicine

• However, you would not be committing an offence (called 'statutory defence') if:

o The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and

o You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber and in the information provided with the medicine and

o It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

4.8 Undesirable effects

The following Adverse Events have been reported:


System Organ Class


Undesirable Effects

Immune system disorders


Anaphylactic reaction*

Metabolism and nutrition disorders



Psychiatric disorders


Hallucination, Abnormal dreams, Nightmare, Confusion, Agitation, Abnormal behaviour




Delirium* Flashback*, Dysphoria*, Insomnia, Disorientation*

Nervous system disorders


Nystagmus, Hypertonia, Tonic clonic movements

Eye disorders



Not known

Intraocular pressure increased

Cardiac disorders


Blood pressure increased, Heart rate increased


Bradycardia, Arrhythmia

Vascular disorders



Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders


Respiratory rate increased


Respiratory depression, Laryngospasm


Obstructive airway disorder*,


Gastrointestinal disorders


Nausea, Vomiting


Salivary hypersecretion*

Hepatobiliary disorders

Not known

Liver function test abnormal

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders


Erythema, Rash morbilliform

Renal and urinary disorders


Cystitis*, Haemorrhagic cystitis*

General disorders and administration site conditions


Injection site pain, Injection site rash

† Common (≥ 1/100 to <1/10); Uncommon (≥ 1/1,000 to <1/100); Rare (≥ 1/10,000 to <1/1,000); Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data)

* AE frequency estimated from post-marketing safety database

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at Website:

4.9 Overdose

Respiratory depression can result from an overdosage of ketamine hydrochloride. Supportive ventilation should be employed. Mechanical support of respiration that will maintain adequate blood oxygen saturation and carbon dioxide elimination is preferred to administration of analeptics.

Ketamine has a wide margin of safety; several instances of unintentional administration of overdoses of Ketamine (up to 10 times that usually required) have been followed by prolonged but complete recovery.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Anaesthetics, Anaesthetics, General, other general anaesthetics. ATC-code: N01AX03

Ketamine is a rapidly acting general anaesthetic for intravenous or intramuscular use with a distinct pharmacological action. Ketamine hydrochloride produces dissociative anaesthesia characterised by catalepsy, amnesia, and marked analgesia which may persist into the recovery period.

Pharyngeal-laryngeal reflexes remain normal and skeletal muscle tone may be normal or can be enhanced to varying degrees. Mild cardiac and respiratory stimulation and occasionally respiratory depression occur.

Mechanism of Action:

Ketamine induces sedation, immobility, amnesia and marked analgesia. The anaesthetic state produced by ketamine has been termed “ dissociative anaesthesia” in that it appears to selectively interrupt association pathways of the brain before producing somesthetic sensory blockade. It may selectively depress the thalamoneocortical system before significantly obtunding the more ancient cerebral centers and pathways (reticular-activating and limbic systems). Numerous theories have been proposed to explain the effects of ketamine, including binding to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the CNS, interactions with opiate receptors at central and spinal sites and interaction with norepinephrine, serotonin and muscarinic cholinergic receptors. The activity on NMDA receptors may be responsible for the analgesic as well as psychiatric (psychosis) effects of ketamine. Ketamine has sympathomimetic activity resulting in tachycardia, hypertension, increased myocardial and cerebral oxygen consumption, increased cerebral blood flow and increased intracranial and intraocular pressure. Ketamine is also a potent bronchodilator. Clinical effects observed following ketamine administration include increased blood pressure, increased muscle tone (may resemble catatonia), opening of eyes (usually accompanied by nystagmus) and increased myocardial oxygen consumption.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Ketamine is rapidly distributed into perfused tissues including brain and placenta. Animal studies have shown ketamine to be highly concentrated in body fat, liver and lung. In humans at an intravenous bolus dose of 2.5 mg/kg, the distribution phase of ketamine lasts about 45 minutes, with a half-life of 10 to 15 minutes, which is associated with the duration of the anaesthetic effect (about 20 minutes). Plasma ketamine concentrations are about 1.8 to 2.0 μ g/mL at 5 minutes after an intravenous bolus injection of 2 mg/kg dose, and about 1.7 to 2.2 μ g/mL at 15 minutes after an intramuscular injection of 6 mg/kg dose in adults and children.

In parturients receiving an intramuscular dose of 250 mg (approximately 4.2 mg/kg), placental transfer rate of ketamine from maternal artery to umbilical vein was 47% at the time of delivery (1.72 versus 0.75 μ g/mL). Average delivery time for these parturients was 12 minutes from the time of ketamine injection to vaginal delivery of a newborn.

Biotransformation takes place in liver. Termination of anaesthetic is partly by redistribution from brain to other tissues and partly by metabolism. Elimination half-life is approximately 2-3 hours, and excretion renal, mostly as conjugated metabolites.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

Published studies in animals (including primates) at doses resulting in light to moderate anaesthesia demonstrate that the use of anaesthetic agents during the period of rapid brain growth or synaptogenesis results in cell loss in the developing brain that can be associated with prolonged cognitive deficiencies. The clinical significance of these nonclinical findings in not known.

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients

Ketamine 50mg/ml Solution for injection: benzethonium chloride, hydrochloric acid, water for injections

6.2 Incompatibilities

Ketamine is chemically incompatible with barbiturates and diazepam because of precipitate formation. Therefore, these should not be mixed in the same syringe or infusion fluid.

6.3 Shelf life

60 months.

Diluted solution: should be used immediately.

Chemical and physical in-use stability has been demonstrated for 48 hours at 25° C protected from light. From a microbiological point of view, the product should be used immediately. If not used immediately, in use storage times and conditions prior to use are the responsibility of the user and would normally not be longer than 24 hours at 2 to 8° C, unless dilution have taken place in controlled validated aseptic conditions.

6.4 Special precautions for storage

Store in the original container.

For storage conditions after dilution of the medicinal product, see section 6.3.

Discard any unused product at the end of each operating session.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

10 ml vials containing 10 ml of solution as 50 mg ketamine base per ml. Box of 5, 10 or 25 vials.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

For single use only.

Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

7. Marketing authorisation holder


Z.I. du Clairay

35133 Luitré


8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL 44124/0009

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation


10. Date of revision of the text


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