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What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a general anesthetic that is used in human and veterinary medicine.

Ketamine has also been found to be useful in the treatment of persons with depression and bipolarism. A group of researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health, led by Dr. Carlos Zarate, found that a single dose of ketamine produced rapid antidepressant effects in depressed patients with bipolar disorder. Their symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts decreased significantly.

Aside from it’s medical use, Ketamine is being used recreationally (known as K or special K) to create a disassociated state, hallucinations and visualizations.

Ketamine is a very popular club drug that blocks the pain paths in the brain without stopping respiratory function. Ketamine also gives its users an out of body psychedelic experience. Recreational users either swallow or snort Ketamine (in powder form). In small amounts ketamine is very mild but in larger doses ketamine can cause people to lose consciousness (like they would under anesthesia for surgery).

This is what makes Ketamine so dangerous.

How does Ketamine damage your bladder?

In small doses ketamine is an effective analgesic that is relatively safe and has little to no side effects. In large and repeated doses ketamine can cause shrinking and fibrotic changes in the bladder. Ketamine damages the cells lining in the bladder and this is what causes bladder capacity to diminish. This damage to the bladder causes a person to have problems holding urine, experience incontinence, and may cause ulcerations in the bladder.


Many people who are suffering from ketamine bladder syndrome will try to avoid going to a doctor. The reason being that many Ketamine users are aware of the side effects of taking high doses of Ketamine and don’t want to seek help because of embarrassment and police involvement.

It was first discovered in 2007 that Ketamine and bladder infections may be connected. It was initially believed that problems associated with ketamine had something to do with other drugs that were combined with the drug. Today,  researchers have found that Ketamine specifically causes bladder cells to become severely damaged and even die with repeated heavy doses.

Someone who is suffering from Ketamine Bladder Syndrome will have symptoms similar to those with a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to treat the condition. Common symptoms of ketamine bladder syndrome are frequent urination, sudden urge or need to urinate, feeling of fullness in the bladder that isn’t relieved by urinating, pelvic and bladder pain, inability to hold urine and blood in the urine.

Treatment for Ketamine Bladder Disorder include medications that help with the inflammation as well as management for pain and dietary changes. There is no quick one time fix for the damage that Ketamine can do to the body. Sometimes the damage done to the bladder from Ketamine is irreversible.

Anyone who is suffering from Ketamine Bladder Syndrome should seek medical help as soon as possible in order to recover from it. The longer someone waits to get treated for Ketamine Bladder Syndrome the worse the symptoms of it get.

If your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or ketamine addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.


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