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A 38-year-old member asked:

What are the effect on babies born after a mom has had ketamine abuse?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
None: Ketamine will leave the body's system after a few hours and should have no effect, especially in the dose used to supplement either a spinal or epidural or IV sedation anesthetic. The ketamine was probably used so that the patient would not feel pain or stop moving excessively.
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
Provided original answer
sorry, i misread the question. i thought it asked about Ketamine use and not abuse which is a whole different story. Ketamine is a drug that causes several changes in the body one of which is increased blood pressure by constricting blood vessels in the mother. this also decreases blood flow to the placenta and can result in intrauterine growth retardation (a small baby) and/or a prematurely born baby. you must be followed by a maternal fetal specialist to optimize outcome. my first answer still stands if the drug was simply used during delivery.
Sep 2, 2012
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Right, Dr. Zeitler -- thanks for your contributions on this subject. As a psychiatrist I see many more people using medications in an ABuse way, than simple "use". Best wishes to you.
Oct 18, 2012
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Few studies: There have been few studies of this particular question, but you're right that ketamine can be abused (not only used in anesthesiology). It's called Special K on the street. One report i did find showed the infant was small for gestational age, had remarkable hypotonia, and poor reflex response. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20951358 other reports mentioned learning disabilities in older kids.

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Last updated Sep 6, 2019

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