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How Long Does Ketamine Stay In Your System (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 To 3 Days

Ketamine is a drug that is given to patients during surgeries to prevent the patient from feeling pain and discomfort during the procedure. Apart from that, ketamine is also used as an antidepressant drug because of its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. Ketamine can cause psychedelic effects as well.  

On average, ketamine stays in the body for about a minimum of 1 day to a maximum of 3 days. However, even after the digestion of the compound, ketamine can be identified in various parts of the body. The major parts of the body or body secretions where ketamine can be identified are blood, urine, and hair. Depending upon where one is trying to identify the presence of ketamine, the time for how long it stays in the system differs.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay In Your System?

Different Types Of The BodyTime
Blood6 hours to 24 hours
Urine10 days to 14 days
Hair60 days to 90 days

Calculating for all the factors, or the body organizations where ketamine can be determined, the time also differs. Ketamine generally can last in the human body from a minimum of 1 day to a maximum of 3 days. However, depending upon many other factors, majorly the size of dosage of ketamine that is consumed, the time can either increase or decrease. Moreover, ketamine can be determined in human blood up to 24 hours after the last dosage of ketamine has been consumed.

Apart from the blood, ketamine can also be identified in the urine. Ketamine can stay and get identified in the urine after about 10 days to 14 days after taking the last dosage. Lastly, ketamine can be identified in human hair as well. Moreover, the time duration for how long ketamine can be identified in the hair is the longest duration among all other body parts. The time duration for ketamine to get identified in human hair is up to 90 days.

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Why Does Ketamine Stay In Your System For That Long?

One major way which determine how long a drug or any chemical compound will last in your body is to measure its half-life. In simple words, the half-life is the total time it takes for half of the drug or the chemical compound to be digested and eliminated from the body.

Immediate-release formulations of ketamine have an average half-life of around 3 hours to 4 hours. That is to say, it takes about 3 hours to 4 hours for an average person to digest half of the dosage of ketamine. However, controlled or extended-release formulations of ketamine have a longer half-life ranging from 4 hours to 5 hours if taken on average.

Moreover, it takes several half-lives for the system to eliminate the drug or the chemical compound. Since everyone metabolizes compounds differently, that is to say, every person has different metabolic rates. As a result, the half-life can vary from body to body. However, for most people, ketamine will get completely cleared in the system within about 24 hours. But, as mentioned earlier as well, ketamine can still be detected in the blood, urine, or hair even after it is cleared from the body.

According to several scientific research and studies, the blood concentrations of ketamine are higher in the elderly, mainly over age 60 as compared to younger people. That means, it takes longer for older people to clear ketamine from their bodies as compared to younger people.

Apart from that, it is found that the average half-life of ketamine increases by 2 hours in people with liver dysfunction and by 1 hour in people with kidney dysfunction. That means it will take longer to clear ketamine from the system for people having liver or kidney dysfunction.

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Conclusion

There are many other factors as well which can affect the time for which ketamine stays in the system. These factors can be the age of the person, gender, dosage of ketamine, the efficiency or inefficiency function of the body. It is quite obvious that if the person’s metabolism rate is higher, that means that the body is more efficient in digesting the compounds, then the elimination of ketamine will be faster as well. 

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-540-74806-9_15
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-200620030-00003