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Legal Status
by Erowid
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
Schedule III
Aug 12, 1999
Ketamine was unscheduled up until August 1999. In early July 1999 the DEA added Ketamine to schedule III with an emergency ruling...which took effect August 12, 1999. Ketamine is now federally illegal to possess in the United States without a license or prescription.

Ketamine nasal spray was approved by the FDA in 2019 under the brand name Spravato containing only the enantiomer esketamine, as a therapeutic drug for "treatment-resistant depression. See FDA Press Release (Mar 5, 2019)

Ketamine is being studied for medical utility around the world. The medical research may eventually result in changes to the legal status. Because ketamine is an approved drug in most countries, it is already being used "off label" for treatment of depression and other indications in clinics around the world.

Over the past two years, ketamine has been scheduled in many states, and laws are pending in many more. Now that Ketamine is federally illegal, it is expected that most states will also eventually schedule it. If ketamine is not scheduled in a specific state, all prosecutions for possession or sales would have to happen at the federal level.

In January 2016, the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence recommended that ketamine not be placed under international control. [read more]

Australia #
Austria #
Ketamine is not a controlled substance (not listed in the SMG (Suchmittelgesetz)), but requires a prescripition to obtain legally. (thanks pw) (last updated Sep 28, 2013)
Belgium #
Ketamine is legal only for medical or veterinary use with a prescription, and possession can result in arrest.
Brazil #
Ketamine is controlled under veterinary law, and is not legal for human use. This law is not strongly enforced, but use is uncommon (unconfirmed) (thanks P)
Cambodia #
Ketamine is controlled and not legal to possess without a prescription. One visitor reports that some pharmacies will sell ketamine, but most will say it is forbidden to do so. Approximate price $20-40 USD per 0.5g ketamine in pharmaceutical saline vial. (thanks G) (last updated Mar 7 2014)
Canada #
Ketamine is Schedule 1 in Canada, pursuant to a Feb 2004 notice that it "is an analogue of phencyclidine (PCP), and is, therefore, captured as item 14 in Schedule I of the CDSA and item 14 in the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR)..." Affected researchers were expected to have complied with Schedule 1 protocol for the handling of ketamine by August 31, 2005. See Amendment to Food and Drugs Act, SOR/2005-270 August 31, 2005 and Notice: Status of ketamine under the CDSA [PDF].
Cambodia #
Reportedly sold over-the-counter, but rarely available. (unconfirmed) (thanks RHCN)
China #
Ketamine is a class II psychiatric drug; trade is limited to licensed wholesalers and retail sales are prohibited. In Jul 2004, the state of Sichuan placed ketamine in class I; other provinces are expected to follow suit. [] See also China firms embroiled in ketamine scandal.
Croatia #
Ketamine is controlled in Croatia. (unconfirmed) (thanks t) (last updated Nov 9, 2015)
Czech Republic#
Sales and distribution are controlled under the Medicines Act, making it illegal to sell or distribute without a license. (unconfirmed) (thanks D)
Denmark #
As of Feb 8, 2008, ketamine is illegal except for scientific and medicinal uses - see ELDD notice (English), KRIMI article (Danish). (thanks M, MX, S)
France #
Ketamine is listed as a narcotic in Annexe IV of the Liste des substances classées comme stupéfiants. Injectable preparations of ketamine are classified as Médicine - List I, and are subject to strict controls. (thanks M)
Germany #
Ketamine is available by prescription only in Germany. (unconfirmed) (thanks OM)
India #
According to this article, "The Narcotics Control Bureau officials ... have their hands tied as ketamine is not listed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985." We have been told that ketamine is available over-the-counter in many pharmacies. (unconfirmed) (thanks DH)
Iran #
Ketamine is not officially controlled in Iran, but became unavailable in 2011/2012 and can no longer be purchased through veterinarians. (unconfirmed) (thanks A) (last Updated Jul 21 2013)
Italy (Italia) #
Listed in Tabella I of "Tabelle delle sostanze stupefacenti e psicotrope", making it illegal to possess, purchase, or sell. (see Tabelle delle sostanze stupefacenti e psicotrope. (thanks a) (last updated Dec 16, 2015)
Laos #
Reportedly sold over-the-counter, but rarely available. (unconfirmed) (thanks RHCN)
Malaysia #
Ketamine is illegal under Section 39b of the Dangerous Drugs Act. (see Trafficking charge for those with ketamine and Eramin 5) (thanks E)
Mexico #
Ketamine is a Category 3 drug under Mexico's General Health Law; Cat. 3 drugs "have a therapeutic value but constitute a problem for the public health". [Ley General de Salud, Title 12, Chapter 6] Medicines Administration Regulations restricts the aquisition of Ketamine to licensed veterinarians only, and sets strict rules regarding the management and follow-up of the products. [Reglamento de Insumos para la Salud]
Netherlands #
Ketamine is treated as a medication and is not in List 1 or 2 in the Netherlands. (List 1 & 2, unofficial, Official Dutch Law)
New Zealand #
On Feb 26, 2008 the New Zealand government announced ketamine will soon be re-classified a Class C substance, the same category as cannabis and codeine. (see InfoNews article).
Nicaragua #
We have been told that ketamine could be purchased over-the-counter from a vet in 2006. (unconfirmed) (thanks M)
Norway #
Visitors have reported to us that ketamine is sold in Norway under the brand name Ketalar and became a class A drug in Norway in 1999. (unconfirmed) (thanks O) (last updated May 11 2010)
Phillipines #
Ketamine is unscheduled and legal to buy in the Phillipines as of 4/5/05. Proposed legislation may soon change this.
Serbia #
We have been told that ketamine is sold in Serbia as Ketamidor 100% solution. It is reportedly difficult to find but legal to possess. Bottles can sometimes be obtained from veterinarians. (unconfirmed) (thanks B)
Singapore #
As of early 2006, 5-MeO-DIPT is controlled as a Class A controlled drug along with Ketamine in Singapore. From the article describing the change: "Traffickers can be jailed from five to 20 years, instead of three to 20 years. They also face five to 15 strokes of the cane, instead of three to 10 strokes. Those caught in possession of more than 113g of ketamine - or 100 times the daily dosage of a ketamine abuser - will be deemed to have trafficked in it." - (thanks E)
Slovakia #
Ketamine was added to Grade 2 (Schedule II to the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances) in October 2009. (TASR)
South Korea #
As of January 2005, Ketamine is controlled in S. Korea. (media) (thanks M)
Sweden #
As of July 1 Ketamine is a schedule IV (4) drug in Sweden. This scheduling happened because MPA got many reports of abuse during the spring of 2005 and MPA thus considered ketamine misuse to be an escalating problem. [News bulletin page]
List of Scheduled prescription drugs in Sweden. (thanks DB)
U.K. (United Kingdom, UK, Great Britain) #
As of June 10, 2014 the UK made ketamine a Class B drug. See Previously, ketamine became a Class C drug as of Jan 1, 2006. See and The move had been expected since a spring 2004 ACMD report that recommended moving ketamine into Class C.

Prior to Jan 1, 2006, Ketamine was not controlled in the U.K. under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making it legal to possess. However sales and distribution were controlled under the Medicines Act making it illegal to sell or distribute without a license.

(last updated May 22, 2014)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.