Does Ketamine Show Up On A Drug Test?
If you need to take a drug test and have used ketamine recently, you may be wondering: will ketamine show up in a drug test? Standard drug tests don’t generally include ketamine so, in all likelihood, it won’t make a difference if you’ve taken ketamine. In some cases, however, ketamine is screened for.
In this post, we will describe cases where ketamine does and doesn’t show up in a drug test, depending on various circumstances.
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Contents of this article
- Ketamine Is Not Included On Standard Drug Tests
- Why Ketamine Is Not Included In Standard Drug Tests
- Cases Where Ketamine Is Included In A Drug Test
- How Long Ketamine Stays In Your System
- Here’s What Affects The Detectability Of Ketamine
Ketamine Is Not Included On Standard Drug Tests
It is rare for ketamine to be included on a standard drug test. This applies to all types of drug tests, the most common ones being saliva, urine, blood, and hair.
The most common type of drug test is a urine screen and some workplaces will ask employees to agree to such testing. Nonetheless, most employers do not use drug tests that look for ketamine.
Types Of Panel Drug Tests
In the U.S., workplaces that carry out drug testing utilize one kind of panel drug test. There are various types of panel drug tests that look for the presence of different drugs in urine.
These drug tests vary, ranging from 4-panel to 10-panel, with the number corresponding to the number of drugs tested. The most common type is the 5-panel drug test. This is the one that most government agencies and private employers use.
5-Panel Drug Test
The 5-panel drug test detects the following substances.
- Cocaine metabolites
- Cannabis metabolites
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
10-Panel Drug Test
In some cases, an employer might use the 10-panel drug test. These tests screen for five of the most frequently misused prescription drugs and five illicit, non-prescription drugs.
Along with the five types of drugs above, this more advanced drug test screens for the following.
As you will notice, ketamine is not featured even in the most advanced standard drug test. This means it is highly unlikely ketamine will show up in a drug test for work.
Why Ketamine Is Not Included In Standard Drug Tests
Most workplace drug tests don’t screen for ketamine because it is expensive to include it. However, if an employer suspects that an employee is using the drug, they may request a blood test, which can detect the drug. But this isn’t a common occurrence.
Cases Where Ketamine Is Included In A Drug Test
There are some contexts in which ketamine is included in a drug test. A drug test may screen for ketamine if you’re serving in the military or competing in a professional sport or athletic competition. Some employers might also include ketamine in their drug testing protocol or in certain circumstances.
How Long Ketamine Stays In Your System
Even if you need to take a drug test that screens for ketamine and you’ve taken the drug recently, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will show up in a drug test. This depends on various factors.
The amount of time that ketamine can be detected in your urine after use is 3-5 days. Nevertheless, the drug can be detectable in urine tests for up to 14 days. It can also show up in hair follicle tests for up to 90 days. So there is significant variation in the amount of time that ketamine could show up in a drug test. But since hair follicle tests aren’t common, you don’t have to worry about ketamine showing up in a drug test for longer than two weeks since last use.
After taking ketamine, your liver will quickly metabolize the compound. The half-life of ketamine (the time it takes for the total amount of the drug in the body to be reduced by 50 percent) is approximately 2-3 hours. It is estimated that 94 to 97 percent of the drug is eliminated from the body after 4-5 half-lives. So, as an adult, most of the ketamine will be out of your system in around 8-15 hours.
If you wait a week since your last use of ketamine, it is unlikely it will show up in a urine drug test. Waiting two weeks, however, will make it even less likely that any traces of ketamine will be detected in your urine. This timeframe will of course be extended much longer should you have to take a hair follicle drug test.
Here’s What Affects The Detectability Of Ketamine
Whether ketamine will be detectable in your body at a certain time after use depends on many different factors. Two people could take ketamine at the same time, yet receive different drug test results after use.
Your Individual Drug Metabolism
The rate at which your body metabolizes drugs will be different compared to others. One person may metabolize a drug quickly, whereas, for someone else, the process can be much slower. Several factors can influence individual drug metabolism rates, including the below.
- Genetic factors
- Health conditions, especially chronic liver disorders, kidney disease, and advanced heart failure. If you deal with any of these health problems, you may experience longer detection times
- Drugs and medications, particularly those that speed up or slow down your metabolism
- The amount of physical activity you do
- Hormone function
- Body mass
- Hydration levels
Ketamine dosage also determines how long ketamine lasts in the body’s system. A smaller dose of ketamine will stay in your body for a shorter amount of time than larger doses. This is simply because the more ketamine you take, the more material there is for the body to metabolize.
Frequency Of Use
If you use ketamine frequently, or multiple times in a session, then the detection time will be extended somewhat. If you regularly use ketamine, say, once or more a week, then it is possible that some traces of ketamine will always be detectable in your urine.
Studies underscore that in chronic drug users, their drug of choice can be detected in urine for one week after last use. This contrasts with a single dose, in which the drug is detectable in urine after 1.5 to four days. This means that if you are taking ketamine as a one-off, say as part of a treatment plan, then the drug will stay in your system for a shorter amount of time compared to a chronic user of the drug.
As we can see, whether ketamine will show up in a drug test depends on myriad factors. In general, if you are taking a workplace drug test, it is unlikely your employer will screen for the drug. Meanwhile, in cases where ketamine is being tested for, you will need to wait a certain amount of time (depending on the type of test) in order to get a negative result.