How Long Does Ketamine Stay In Your System?

Ketamine is an anaesthetic used in veterinary and medical settings, as well as recreationally. It’s known for its psychedelic effects, which create a “high” for users.

The drug can be abused by individuals seeking to achieve a dissociative state, sometimes referred to as the “K-hole.” The K-hole is often associated with a feeling of detachment from reality, hallucinations, and a loss of physical sensation.

People who use ketamine recreationally may take the drug orally, through injection, or by snorting it. Abuse of the drug can lead to a range of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The drug can also cause a rapid heartbeat, which can be dangerous for individuals with heart conditions.

Long-term use of ketamine can lead to more severe side effects, including bladder problems, memory loss, and addiction.

Despite its dangers, ketamine use as a recreational drug has continued to grow in popularity. In recent years, its use has spread beyond the club scene and into wider-spread social circles. This trend has led to increased concern about the drug’s impact on public health and safety.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay In Your System?

Whether you’re considering taking ketamine, you’ve recently taken it, or you’re simply curious, it’s important to know how long it could stay in your system. The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think because several factors determine the length of time the drug remains in your body.

Ketamine is fat-soluble, meaning that it’s easily stored in body fat. As a result, it can stay in your system for some time. Research on how long ketamine remains in the body is limited, but some studies suggest that the drug’s effects typically last for about one to three days.

The duration of ketamine’s effects may depend on several factors, including:

  • The amount of ketamine taken
  • The user’s metabolism
  • The user’s body composition (body fat and muscles)
  • The user’s tolerance level
  • The user’s renal and hepatic functions
  • Whether the drug was taken in combination with other drugs

These personal factors can affect how quickly a person can metabolise ketamine and eliminate it from the body.

In a 2017 study, researchers found that the average elimination half-life of ketamine is 2.5 hours. This means that it takes approximately 2.5 hours for the body to metabolise and eliminate half of the amount of a given dose.

It typically takes five to six half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from the body. This means that ketamine can take up to 15 hours to leave the body completely. However, the elimination time may vary from person to person.

Ketamine can also be detectable in a person’s system for some time after taking the drug. Its metabolites can be detected by a urine drug test up to 14 days after administration. Ketamine can be detected by a saliva drug test  for up to 48 hours after it was last taken.

Although ketamine’s effects typically last for one to three days, it can remain in the body for a longer period of time. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the drug’s potential side effects and the risks of taking it.

Photo by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in January 2015. It was last updated in June 2023.

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