Comparing Ketamine Administration: Bioavailability

Ketamine, originally developed as an anesthetic, has found its way into the spotlight for its remarkable therapeutic potential, especially in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As its use in clinical and therapeutic settings has grown, it's important to understand the various administration methods and their impact on ketamine's bioavailability.

What Is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability refers to the extent and rate at which a drug or substance enters the bloodstream and is made available for the intended physiological effect. Understanding the bioavailability of ketamine is crucial for tailoring its administration to achieve desired therapeutic outcomes.

Comparing Ketamine Bioavailabililty: IV, Intramuscular, Nasal or Oral

Intravenous (IV) Administration:

Bioavailability: Nearly 100%

IV administration involves injecting ketamine directly into a vein. This method provides the highest bioavailability as it bypasses the digestive system, ensuring rapid and complete absorption.

Used in clinical settings such as ours, it’s administered under the supervision of licensed healthcare professional. IV administration allows for precise control over dosage.

Intramuscular (IM) Injection:

Bioavailability: Approximately 93%

IM administration involves injecting ketamine into a muscle, usually the thigh or buttocks. It offers a slightly lower bioavailability compared to IV but still provides relatively quick and effective results.

Intranasal Administration:

Bioavailability: Around 8-50%

Intranasal administration involves inhaling ketamine through the nasal mucosa. This method is less invasive, but also has lower bioavailability, which varies based on factors like individual nasal health and administration technique. It is often used for pain management and some forms of therapy.

Oral Administration:

Bioavailability: Approximately 17-29%

Ketamine can be taken orally in the form of capsules or tablets. However, it has the lowest bioavailability due to its passage through the digestive system. The delayed onset of action and variable effects make it less popular for therapeutic purposes but may be used in some cases.

Several factors can influence ketamine bioavailability, including:

  • Individual Variation: Variations in metabolism, genetics, and health can affect how an individual absorbs and responds to ketamine.
  • Dosage: Higher doses may saturate absorption mechanisms and not significantly increase bioavailability.
  • Drug Interactions: Co-administered drugs can either enhance or reduce ketamine's bioavailability.
  • Administration Technique: Proper technique is crucial for certain methods, especially intranasal, to ensure the drug is absorbed effectively.

Understanding ketamine bioavailability and its administration methods is vital for optimizing its therapeutic potential while minimizing adverse effects. The choice of administration method should be tailored to the individual's needs, the specific therapeutic goals, and under the guidance of healthcare professionals.

Please contact our team today for your free consultation.


Ketamine Clinic of Spokane

3707 S Grand Blvd, Suite 101 D

Spokane, WA 99203

Phone: 509-934-7177

Fax: 509-356-8435

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Our team offers extended hours and occasional weekend appointments. Please contact us to find a time that works best for you.








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