November 16, 2023

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?

A woman sits and thinks the half life of ketamine as she does research

Ketamine is a potent dissociative anesthetic that was originally intended for medical use in animals and humans. The Schedule III controlled substance is commonly abused for its hallucinogenic effects.

Help for you or a loved one is only one call away.

This guide addresses one important issue: how long does ketamine stay in your system?

Ketamine Half-Life

For those wondering, “What is the half-life of ketamine”, the ketamine elimination half life is around 3 hours. After this time, blood concentration levels of the drug will reduce by half. A substance is entirely eliminated from the system after five half-lives – up to 15 hours in the case of ketamine.

Despite its relatively short half-life, ketamine can be detectable in the body for an extended duration through various testing methods:

  • Saliva test: Ketamine can be identified in saliva for approximately 24 hours after consumption.
  • Blood test: Ketamine can be traced in the bloodstream for up to 3 days after ingestion, with optimal detection occurring within the first 24 hours.
  • Urine test: Ketamine remains detectable in urine for about 14 days, although some studies suggest detection may extend up to 30 days after the last use.
  • Hair test: Residues of ketamine can linger in the hair and hair follicles for as long as 4 months following a single instance of use.

Several factors can influence the duration of time ketamine remains detectable in your system:

  • Age and general health: Younger, healthier individuals tend to eliminate ketamine more rapidly due to their faster metabolisms.
  • Hydration levels: Ketamine primarily exits the body through urine. Therefore, individuals who maintain proper hydration and consequently urinate more frequently tend to eliminate ketamine more swiftly.
  • Metabolic rate: Individuals with a faster metabolic rate can break down and eliminate ketamine more efficiently than those with slower metabolisms.
  • Kidney and liver function: Efficient kidney and liver function are crucial for eliminating ketamine from the body. Impaired functioning of these organs can lead to a prolonged elimination process.
  • Body mass: Individuals with higher body mass can potentially metabolize ketamine more rapidly, as the amount of ketamine taken represents a smaller proportion of their overall body mass.
  • Dosage: Higher doses of ketamine can extend the time required for the body to eliminate the drug, as the system must work harder to process and expel it.
  • Frequency of use: Regular ketamine use can result in overlapping doses, causing the substance to accumulate in the body and prolonging the elimination process.
  • Concurrent drug use: Mixing ketamine with other substances can complicate the body’s detoxification process, as it must concurrently break down multiple substances, delaying the elimination of ketamine.
A man stares out the window wondering: how long does ketamine stay in your system?

Symptoms of Ketamine Withdrawal

If you or a loved one are struggling with ketamine addiction and trying to get sober, ketamine withdrawal can occur. While ketamine withdrawal can be different for everyone, there are common symptoms to look out for to determine if withdrawal is occurring.

The signs of ketamine leaving your system can include:

  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Mood Swings
  • Sweating/Chills
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Body Aches

The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on factors like length of use, amount being taken, and existing health status. If you or a loved one have decided to quit ketamine, seeking a treatment center that specializes in ketamine detox can provide the safest and most successful recovery.


What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative drug that is used as an anesthetic by medical professionals. It is also frequently abused for its psychotropic effects.

How long does ketamine stay in your blood?

Ketamine can be detected in the blood for up to three days, although this can vary depending on factors such as dosage, frequency of use, and individual metabolism.

How long does ketamine stay in urine?

Ketamine and its metabolites can be detectable in urine for up to six days. However, this may vary according to variables like individual metabolism and the amount of ketamine consumed.

How long is ketamine in your system after ingesting?

The presence of ketamine in the body can be detected for up to four days. This timeframe can vary based on several factors, though, including the specific dose taken, the person’s metabolism, and the frequency of use.

An image of the Gratitude Lodge facility where treatment for Ketamine addiction is available

Get Treatment for Ketamine Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

Now you know how long ketamine stays in your system, how can you go about addressing the abuse of this dangerous drug?

First, consider our supervised medical detox program at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. You can access continuous clinical and emotional care as you withdraw from ketamine under controlled conditions. You will then move into ongoing inpatient treatment at one of our pet-friendly facilities in Newport Beach or Long Beach, CA.

Treatment programs at Gratitude Lodge utilize these interventions:

Call 888-861-1658 when you are ready to live substance-free.

Want to learn more?

Recent Articles

December 1, 2023

Addiction VS Dependence: What’s The Difference?

December 1, 2023

Is Morphine Addictive?

December 1, 2023

What Should Your Substance Abuse Goals Be?

Begin your journey
to recovery.

Get evidence-based treatment in a peaceful location, with a
team of dedicated, expert staff. 
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Email
Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.