How Long Does Ketamine Nasal Spray Last? 4 Critical Facts

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Ketamine nasal spray is a relatively new medication that has recently gained popularity for its potential to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. But how long does ketamine nasal spray last?

The duration of its effects can vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s metabolism, the dose, and the medication’s intended use.

Interestingly, the effects of ketamine nasal spray have been described as “transiently transformative.” This is because, for some individuals, even a single dose of ketamine nasal spray can rapidly and dramatically improve their mental health symptoms.

However, the effects are typically short-lived, lasting from 20 minutes to a few hours.

What is ketamine nasal spray?

Ketamine is a drug that has been used for decades as an anesthetic and a painkiller. It has also been abused as a recreational drug, sometimes called Special K, because it can cause dissociation and hallucination.

Ketamine nasal spray is a form of ketamine that contains only the S-ketamine molecule, which is thought to be more effective and less addictive than the R-ketamine molecule.

How is ketamine nasal spray used?

Ketamine nasal spray is not a regular medication you can take at home. It is only available through a restricted distribution system under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS).

This means that you have to go to a certified doctor’s office or clinic to receive the treatment and be monitored by a healthcare provider for at least two hours after each dose.

How long does ketamine nasal spray last?

doctor holding nasal spray

Ketamine nasal spray has been gaining popularity in recent years. But how long do the effects of this quick-acting antidepressant last after each dose? Here’s a look at the duration of ketamine nasal spray:

Onset and Peak Effects

Ketamine starts working very quickly after being administered as a nasal spray.

Within 2 hours, most people experience the peak antidepressant effects.

The onset is much faster than traditional oral antidepressants, which can take 4-6 weeks to peak effectiveness.

Duration of Effects

The antidepressant effects of ketamine nasal spray typically last for 3-5 days after a single dose.

One study found the effects lasted an average of 3 days in a group of patients with treatment-resistant depression.

Another study found that 35-45% of depression symptom relief was maintained for up to 7 days after a single dose.

Repeated Doses

To maintain the antidepressant effects, ketamine is given as a nasal spray twice weekly or once every 1-2 weeks.

With repeated doses over time, some studies have found the effects can last longer – up to 2 weeks or more between doses.

The frequency and timing of doses are tailored to each patient’s response.

Improvement Over Time

Some research indicates that ketamine may lead to a cumulative and sustained improvement in depressive symptoms over repeat treatments.

One study found depressive scores continued improving over 12 months as patients received recurring ketamine doses.

However, more research is still needed on the long-term effects of repeated administration.

What are the risks of ketamine nasal spray?

Ketamine nasal spray is not without risks. It has a boxed warning that cautions about the possibility of sedation, dissociation, abuse and misuse, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors after administration. Some of the common side effects of ketamine nasal spray include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Feeling disconnected from yourself or your surroundings
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Headache

Some people may also experience more serious side effects, such as:

  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Bladder problems
  • Liver damage
  • Impaired cognition or memory

Ketamine nasal spray may also interact with other medications or substances that affect your brain function, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, stimulants, or herbal supplements. It would be best to tell your doctor about all your medications and supplements before starting ketamine nasal spray.

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So, in summary, a single dose of ketamine nasal spray provides rapid antidepressant effects that last on average 3-5 days but can persist for up to 7 days in some patients. With ongoing, repeated dosing, these effects may be sustained longer. Ketamine represents an exciting new antidepressant option with a much quicker onset of action than traditional options.