Published: September 2010

Ketamine classification change - important information

Prescriber Update 31(3): 23
September 2010

Healthcare professionals are advised that ketamine will become a Class C(4) controlled drug on 1 December 2010. After this date ketamine will need to be stored in a safe and will be added to the list of drugs that have to be prescribed on a triplicate controlled drug prescription.

Ketamine labels will be updated to identify this substance as a C4 controlled drug and an importation licence will be required for each consignment that is to enter New Zealand. Advertising ketamine will also be prohibited except where intended for medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and pharmacists.

The classification change is designed to reduce the potential for diverting ketamine for non-legitimate purposes and is similar to controls introduced in other countries.