Does Ketamine Make You Gain Weight

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic and an emerging drug used for the treatment of various mental health conditions. The use of this drug has raised questions about its potential side effects, of which one of them is “weight gain.”

Although ketamine itself is not directly associated with weight gain, its effect on mood and behavior can indirectly lead to weight gain.

In this article, we hope to enlighten you on the potential connection between ketamine and weight gain. We will examine the science behind ketamine, its effects on the body, and give you some proven and practical tips on how you can maintain a healthy weight while undergoing treatment with ketamine.

What Is Ketamine and How Does It Work?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that was first developed in the 1960s. Since then, it has been widely used in medical and veterinary settings due to its ability to induce anesthesia quickly and safely.

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Recently, ketamine has gained attention for its off-label use in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain. It works by blocking NMDA receptors in the brain, which modulate pain and mood.

What Is Ketamine and How Does It Work?

The Role of Ketamine in Mental Health Treatment

Ketamine’s effectiveness in treating mental health disorders is linked to its rapid antidepressant effects. Unlike traditional antidepressants, which can take weeks to show results, ketamine can alleviate symptoms within hours. This quick action makes it a valuable option for people with treatment-resistant depression or those experiencing severe suicidal thoughts.

Does Ketamine Make You Gain Weight?

According to research, there is no evidence to prove that the use of ketamine can directly result in weight gain. However, the indirect effects of ketamine on weight cannot be ignored. Below are some crucial factors you must consider:

1. Improved Mood and Appetite Changes

Ketamine’s antidepressant properties can lead to significant mood improvements. For some people, better mood may result in increased appetite, potentially leading to weight gain.

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Conversely, improved mental health can also motivate individuals to adopt healthier eating habits and exercise routines, promoting weight loss.

2. Behavioral Changes

Enhanced mood and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety may encourage more active lifestyles. Increased physical activity can help manage weight, but this depends on the individual’s choices and habits.

3. Sleep Patterns

Ketamine can affect sleep patterns, either improving or disrupting sleep. Better sleep often supports weight management, while poor sleep can lead to weight gain due to hormonal imbalances and increased cravings for high-calorie foods.

The Role of Ketamine in Mental Health Treatment

Ketamine’s Impact on Metabolism

Ketamine’s effect on metabolism is not well-studied, but some evidence suggests it may influence metabolic processes. Animal studies have shown that ketamine can alter glucose metabolism, potentially affecting weight.

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However, these findings are not yet confirmed in humans, and more research is needed to understand ketamine’s metabolic impact fully.

Practical Tips to Manage Weight While Using Ketamine

For people using ketamine as part of their mental health treatment, maintaining a healthy weight is achievable with mindful strategies. Here are some practical tips:

1. Monitor Your Diet

Pay attention to your eating habits, and strive for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks that can contribute to weight gain.

2. Stay Active

Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Exercise not only helps manage weight but also enhances mood and overall well-being. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

3. Get Quality Sleep

Prioritize good sleep hygiene to ensure you get enough rest. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and establish a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bedtime to improve sleep quality.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help control appetite and support metabolic processes. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, and more if you are physically active.

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5. Seek Professional Guidance

Work with healthcare professionals, including dietitians and mental health experts, to develop a comprehensive plan for weight management. They can provide personalized advice and support to help you stay on track.

How to Manage Some Side Effects of Ketamine

How to Manage Some Side Effects of Ketamine

While ketamine is generally safe when administered by healthcare professionals, it can have side effects. Understanding these potential effects can help manage them effectively:

1. Nausea and Vomiting

Some individuals may experience nausea or vomiting after ketamine treatment. Eating light meals and staying hydrated can help alleviate these symptoms.

2. Dissociation

Ketamine can cause dissociative experiences, making you feel detached from reality. These effects are typically short-lived but can be distressing. Grounding techniques, such as deep breathing or focusing on sensory experiences, can help manage dissociation.

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3. Increased Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

Ketamine may temporarily raise blood pressure and heart rate. Regular monitoring by healthcare professionals ensures these changes do not pose a significant risk.


While ketamine itself does not directly cause weight gain, its effects on mood, behavior, and metabolism can indirectly result in weight gain. By adopting a mindful approach to diet, exercise, sleep, and hydration, individuals can effectively manage their weight during ketamine treatment.

Professional guidance and a holistic perspective ensure that both mental and physical health are prioritized, leading to better outcomes and overall well-being.

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