Driving Post Dose

Here are some key points about the half-life and driving recommendations for ketamine used therapeutically:

  • Ketamine has a relatively short half-life of around 2-3 hours. This means that after 2-3 hours, the plasma concentration of ketamine is reduced by half.
  • However, the psychoactive effects of ketamine typically last 45-90 minutes when used at therapeutic doses. The effects wear off gradually.
  • Ketamine is metabolized into norketamine with a longer half-life of around 12 hours. Norketamine is also psychoactive and can prolong the effects.
  • Most guidelines recommend waiting 24 hours after using a therapeutic dose of ketamine before driving or operating heavy machinery. This allows time for the drug and metabolites to be sufficiently cleared from your system.
  • Some experts say waiting 12-16 hours may be sufficient based on the short half-life. However, 24 hours is a more conservative timeframe, given the presence of active metabolites and individual variability in response.
  • The effects of ketamine vary significantly between individuals based on factors like body size, liver function, other medications, etc. It’s best to be cautious when judging your ability to drive safely after ketamine.
  • If you must drive sooner than 24 hours, be careful and attentive. Have someone else drive if you notice lingering effects like sedation, slowed reflexes, coordination issues, or altered judgment. Don’t take any risks when it comes to driving safely.

In summary, a 24-hour wait is recommended after a therapeutic ketamine dose, but if driving sooner, take every precaution and avoid driving if any effects persist. The clearance time can vary.

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