The prevalence and natural history of urinary symptoms among recreational ketamine users

Adam Winstock, Luke Mitcheson, David A. Gillatt, Angela M. Cottrell*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    160 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE

    To investigate the prevalence and natural history of urinary symptoms in a cohort of recreational ketamine users.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS

    A purposeful sampling technique was used.

    Between November 2009 and January 2010 participants were invited to undertake an on-line questionnaire promoted by a national dance music magazine and website.

    Data regarding demographics and illicit drug-use were collected.

    Among respondents reporting recent ketamine use, additional information detailing their ketamine use, experience of urinary symptoms and use of related healthcare services was obtained.

    RESULTS

    In all, 3806 surveys were completed, of which 1285 (33.8%) participants reported ketamine use within the last year.

    Of the ketamine users, 17% were found to be dependent on the drug; 26.6% (340) of recent ketamine users reported experiencing urinary symptoms.

    Urinary symptoms were significantly related to both dose of ketamine used and frequency of ketamine use.

    Of 251 users reporting their experience of symptoms over time in relationship to their use of ketamine, 51% reported improvement in urinary symptoms upon cessation of use with only eight (3.8%) reporting deterioration after stopping use.

    CONCLUSIONS

    Urinary tract symptoms are reported in over a quarter of regular ketamine users.

    A dose and frequency response relationship has been shown between ketamine use and urinary symptoms.

    Both users and primary-care providers need to be educated about urinary symptoms that may arise in ketamine users. A multi-disciplinary approach promoting harm reduction, cessation and early referral is needed to manage individuals with ketamine-associated urinary tract symptoms to avoid progression to severe and irreversible urological pathologies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1762-1766
    Number of pages5
    JournalBJU International
    Volume110
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

    Keywords

    • ketamine
    • cystitis
    • epidemiology
    • dependence
    • DANCE DRUG-USERS
    • EMERGENCY-DEPARTMENT
    • HONG-KONG
    • CONSEQUENCES
    • PATTERNS
    • ABUSERS
    • HEALTH
    • MISUSE
    • SCENE
    • UK

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