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How Long Does Ketamine stay in your system

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  • 18th April 2017

What is Ketamine and what is it used for

Ketamine is a drug synthesized in the 1960s by Calvin L. Stevens, a Parke-Davis consultant and a chemistry professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. It was initially used for anesthetic purposes and as such was in wide circulation during the Vietnam War. It was preferred over phencyclidine (PCP) because of the short duration of its effect and less likelihood of adverse reactions.



Ketamine is also used as a ‘getting high’ recreational drug, with high popularity in clubs and rave parties. In most cases, ketamine is taken in mixture with more severe drugs like cocaine and heroin, thus making it very difficult to decide the amount of ketamine that should be taken. Side-effects of ketamine include drug-induced psychosis and unpleasant hallucinatory effects.

Ketamine has since been used as an analgesic painkiller and in more recent times, as a very effective antidepressant, acting within a few hours of administration to repress depression.

How long does Ketamine stay in your urine, blood, saliva and hair

Urine Up to 4 days
Blood Up to 2 weeks
Hair Up to 90 days
Saliva Up to 24 hours

How long does Ketamine stay in your system once you stop taking it

The half-life of ketamine is around 2.5-3 hours, meaning that usually, it would take your body 13.75-16.5 hours to completely eliminate the drug from the system. Once ketamine is metabolized by your body, two further metabolites are produced, norketamine and dehydronorketamine. Both these metabolites have shorter elimination half-lives than ketamine, and in all probability, the parent drug and a majority of its metabolites will be eliminated from your system 24 hours after you have taken the last dose and the remainder will leave your body a few days thereafter.

These timeframes are, however, subject to vary based on several individual and general factors, which include the age of the person, his build, hydration levels, metabolic rate and the liver and kidney functionality. It should also be noted that if the drug is administered to someone with cerebral or spinal injuries, the metabolites of ketamine have much longer half-lives, with norketamine having 5.3 hours per half-life and dehyrdroketamine exhibiting 6.9 hours per half-life.

General factors that have a bearing on how long ketamine stays in your system are, the strength of the ketamine administered, larger doses will take longer periods of time for elimination, the frequency of dosage is also an important factor, as is the fact that if any other drugs are being ingested along with ketamine, as they may prolong or shorten the time required by the liver for complete elimination.

How to pass a Ketamine drug test

If you have ingested ketamine and are up for a drug test, there are certain things you can do at your end that can accelerate the pace at which ketamine and its metabolites are excreted from your system. The basic and most obvious way is to stop taking the drug. Other external factors that aid in ketamine excretion are:

  • Getting lots of exercise and staying generally physically active is a surefire way to get rid of ketamine from your system.
  • Activated charcoal supplement is another good way to get rid of ketamine, its metabolites and any other endotoxins from your system.
  • Calcium-D-Glucarate is another supplement that you can take to detoxify your system of ketamine.

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