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Ketamine should be upgraded from class C to class B drug, committee says

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7439 (Published 11 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7439
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Ketamine should be upgraded from a class C to a class B drug because of new evidence of the harms it can cause, government advisers have recommended.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs made the recommendation to the Home Office in a report published on 10 December.1

The council said that more people had been admitted to hospital in recent years for short lived problems from ketamine misuse, such as hallucinations, agitation, and impaired consciousness.

“In addition,” it said, “there is now good evidence that frequent and heavy ketamine misuse can cause significant toxicity to the bladder, urinary tract, and kidneys.”

It said that there were numerous reports of people having had surgery to remove their bladders because of severe ketamine related damage.

Ketamine is widely used in veterinary medicine and in some human medicine as an anaesthetic and analgesic, but concern has grown about its popularity …

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