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Hur länge finns ketamin kvar i kroppen?

What is ketamine and how long does ketamine remain in the body?

Ketamine is a powerful hallucinogenic drug. Some common names are ”keta”, ”K”, ”spesh” and ”K special”. Ketamine can be sniffed as powder or swallowed as tablets, but can also be injected in liquid form. This drug was originally a medicine intended for pain relief for humans and animals in ordinary and veterinary care. Thus, ketamine also has a strong pain-relieving effect.

In this blog, we go through how long ketamine can be detected in saliva, blood, urine and hair after ingestion and what factors can affect this. We will also look at how long the effects of ketamine can last and how ketamine withdrawal feels.

Ketamine has a half-life of approximately 2.5 to 3 hours in adults. After this time, the drug has reached its maximum effect and you may begin to feel a turn off. Some people may then take more of the drug to avoid the unpleasant switch off and maintain their euphoric state.

2.5 to 3 hours may seem like a short time, but drug tests can show traces of ketamine in the body for much longer than that.

Ketamine can be detected in the body using a number of different tests:

  • Saliva – ketamine may be detected in the saliva for up to 24 hours after ingestion.
  • Blood – ketamine can be detected in the blood for up to three days after ingestion, but the test is most effective in the first 24 hours.
  • Urine – ketamine can be detected in the urine for up to 14 days after the last intake. However, some studies suggest that it is possible to detect ketamine in the urine as long as 30 days after you use the drug.
  • Hair – traces of ketamine can remain in the hair and hair follicles for up to four months after a single use.

What factors affect how long ketamine remains in the body?

There are many different factors that can affect how long ketamine stays in the body.

Age and general health

Young, healthy people can usually get rid of ketamine from their body faster than older people thanks to their faster metabolism.

Level of hydration

Most of the ketamine is excreted in the urine. If you drink a lot so that you urinate more often, the ketamine will leave the body slightly faster.


In people with a fast metabolism, substances such as ketamine will be broken down and eliminated faster than in those with a slower metabolism.

Renal and hepatic function

It is the kidneys and liver that are responsible for removing the ketamine from the system. If for some reason the kidneys or liver are working worse than normal, it may take longer to get rid of the ketamine.

Body weight

If you have a high body weight, it may mean that you break down ketamine faster than a person with a lower body weight. That’s because the amount of ketamine you’ve taken makes up a smaller percentage of your total body weight. Thus, those who weigh more can get rid of the same amount of ketamine faster.

Ketamine dose

The higher the dose of ketamine you have taken, the more the body needs to work to get rid of it and the longer it will take.

How often do you use ketamine

If you regularly use ketamine, this may eventually mean taking one more dose before the last one has completely left the system. This can lead to an accumulation in the body and that it takes longer to eliminate the drug altogether.

If you mix ketamine with other drugs

If you take ketamine together with other drugs, it means that the body has to break down all these substances at the same time, which can make the process take longer.

How long do the effects of ketamine last?

If you sniff ketamine, the effects usually come after about 10-15 minutes. If taken as a tablet, it will take a little longer for the effects to show – around 20 minutes. If ketamine is injected directly into the bloodstream, the effects can be felt almost immediately.

The effect of ketamine can last between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on how much you have taken – higher doses make the effects last longer.

Some effects are:

  • euphoria, relaxation and enjoyment
  • a feeling of being separated from the body and surroundings
  • hallucinations
  • altered perception of space and time
  • pain relief.

Ketamine withdrawal

If you have been taking ketamine regularly for a while, your body has become accustomed to the drug. If you stop taking ketamine of your own volition or are unable to get hold of it, you will likely experience a range of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Some psychological symptoms are severe depression and anxiety, aggressiveness, irritability, paranoia, psychosis, panic attacks, insomnia and suicidal thoughts.

Physical symptoms of ketamine withdrawal can include stomach cramps, vision and hearing problems, bladder pain, sweating, increased heart rate, and intense cravings for ketamine.

Treatment for ketamine addiction

If you are concerned about your ketamine use and think you may be addicted to ketamine, it is important that you seek professional help. 

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