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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Sep;31(9):877-86. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Long-term ketamine and ketamine plus alcohol treatments produced damages in liver and kidney.

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  • 1Brain Research Centre, School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Ketamine is one of the common recreational drugs used in rave parties and it is frequently taken with alcohol. In spite of this, the potential toxicity of ketamine in liver and kidney has not been fully documented. In this study, ICR mice were treated for periods of 6, 16 and 28 weeks with 30 mg/kg ketamine injected daily intraperitoneally, and together with alcohol (0.5 ml of 10% alcohol for each mouse) during the last 4 weeks of the treatment periods. Our experimental results showed significant damage in liver, including fatty degeneration of liver cells, fibrosis and increase in liver glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, proliferative cell nuclear antigen and lactate dehydrogenase after 16 weeks of treatment with ketamine. Hydropic degenerations of the kidney tubules were observed as early as 6 weeks of treatment. Long-term ketamine administration (28 weeks) led to atresia of glomeruli in the kidney. Proteinuria was confirmed in the 67% of the ketamine-treated animals after 28 weeks of treatment. It was apparent that ketamine when taken chronically (16 weeks of treatment and thereafter) affected both liver and kidney definitively. The damages in both liver and kidney of these mice were more severe when the animals were treated with both ketamine and alcohol.

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