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How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System

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Ketamine can stay in your system for up to four months after a single dose. It can also be found in scalp samples up to forty-eight hours after ingestion. In urine samples, ketamine can be detected up to eleven days after it is used. Its metabolites (smaller molecules into which it is broken down after being processed in the body) can be found up to fourteen days after. Read on for the full picture of how long ketamine will stay in your system, from Avenues Recovery

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a medication primarily used for anesthesia and pain management, which comes in a clear liquid or off-white powder. It's a type of medicine known as a “dissociative anesthetic”, which can make one feel separate from their body and in a dream-like state, but still able to breathe and react to things [1].

When doctors use ketamine for medical reasons, they administer it to patients by injecting it into their veins or muscles. The effect can be felt within seconds when injected intravenously (via the veins). In contrast, when injected intramuscularly (via the muscles), it can take up to four minutes to feel the effects.

In 2019, the FDA approved a ketamine-derived nasal spray that can be used to treat treatment-resistant depression [2]. However, some people also use ketamine illegally in order to get high and have developed ketamine addiction.

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Seven Factors That Will Affect How Long Ketamine Will Last In Your System

The following factors can affect how long ketamine stays in your system:

  1. Dose - Higher doses may take longer to metabolize and eliminate.
  1. Frequency of Use - If ketamine is used regularly, it can stay in the body for longer and take more time to remove ketamine from its system.
  1. Method of Administration - Intravenous administration has a faster onset and shorter duration than intramuscular injection.
  1. Metabolism - If a person has a slow metabolism, then ketamine will stay in the system for a longer period of time.
  1. Body composition - since ketamine is a fat-soluble drug (which means that it’s stored in a person’s fatty tissue), ketamine will stay for a longer period of timer if the individual has a higher composition of body fat.
  1. Hydration levels - the more a person drinks, the faster the ketamine will be washed out of their system.
  1. pH levels - Alkaline urine (urine with a higher pH) can potentially help flush the drug out more rapidly.


What is Ketamine’s Half-Life?

The half-life of a drug refers to the time it takes for the concentration of a drug in the body to be reduced by half. The half-life of ketamine is two and a half to three hours. It takes most drugs four to five half-lives to be eliminated from the body. Therefore, it takes ten to twelve and a half hours for ketamine to be out of an adult’s system.

How Can I Get a Ketamine Drug Test?

●  Medical Professional: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or addiction specialist. They can assess your situation, discuss your concerns, and determine if a ketamine drug test is appropriate for your specific needs. If deemed necessary, they can order the test for you or refer you to a laboratory where you can undergo the test.

●  Laboratory or Testing Facility: Contact local laboratories or testing facilities in your area and inquire about their available drug testing services. Explain that you specifically require a ketamine drug test. They can provide information on the procedure, cost, and any requirements for the test. You may need to visit the facility to provide a urine or blood sample for analysis.

●  Online Testing Services: Some online companies offer direct-to-consumer drug testing services, where you can order a ketamine-specific drug test kit. These kits are usually delivered to your address, and you can follow the instructions to collect a sample (urine or saliva) and send it back to the company for analysis. Make sure to research reputable and reliable providers before purchasing a ketamine drug test from them.

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How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Urine?

Ketamine and its metabolites can typically be detected in urine for a period of approximately three to five days after use. However, it’s important to note that the exact detection time can vary depending on various factors, including the individual’s metabolism, the dose taken, and the frequency of use.

Sometimes ketamine may be detectable in urine for a slightly longer duration, especially with heavy or chronic use. Additionally, certain drug tests may have different sensitivities and detection thresholds, which can affect the ability to detect ketamine in urine.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your Blood?

A blood test can show traces of ketamine in your blood for up to three days, but ideally the blood test should be administered within 24 hours.

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Does Ketamine Show Up in a Hair Follicle Test?

Ketamine can show up in a hair follicle test for up to four months after a single use. Ketamine stays in hair samples for much longer than it does in blood or urine since drugs are metabolized much quicker in blood or urine.

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Chart: How Long Ketamine Stays In Your System

Test Type Detection Time Period
Urine Three to Five Days
Hair Follicle Test Up to Four Months
Blood 24-72 Hours


How Long Do The Effects of Ketamine Last?

Two and a half to three hours after taking ketamine, a person can start to have a ‘comedown’. To avoid the feeling of a comedown, many people will take the drug again so they can return to the euphoric state they were in before. While ketamine has a shorter half-life than most drugs, traces of ketamine and its metabolites can be found in a person’s blood, urine, saliva, or hair for much longer.

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Ketamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Ketamine withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant if not dangerous. Symptoms can be physical, behavioral, or emotional. They include but are not limited to hallucinations, irregular heart rate and blood pressure, psychosis, paranoia, and depression. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and request professional help when necessary.

Treatment for Ketamine Addiction at Avenues Recovery

Although recovery from addiction can be challenging, it is definitely possible. If you or a loved one is suffering from ketamine abuse, reach out to us at Avenues Recovery so we can help you on your journey to sobriety. We offer a variety of treatment programs and resources to help you recover. Start your journey to sobriety today!

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[1] web.archive.org

[2] www.fda.gov

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