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Ketamine has been used in the United States as an anesthetic induction agent since 1972. The drug acts by noncompetitive antagonism of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors.(1,2) Ketamine has become a popular street drug because of its hallucinogenic effects.(3)
Ketamine has a half-life of 3 to 4 hours, and is metabolized to norketamine.(3) The effects from ketamine last from 1 to 5 hours, and ketamine and/or norketamine can be detected in the urine for a period of 1 to 2 days following use.(4)
Detection and confirmation of ketamine use
The presence of ketamine and/or norketamine >25 ng/mL is a strong indicator that the patient has used ketamine.
A kit including all the materials necessary to complete chain-of-custody is available to ensure that the test results are appropriate for legal proceedings.
1. Ujhelyi MR, Robert S, Cummings DM, et al: Influence of digoxin immune Fab therapy and renal dysfunction on the disposition of total and free digoxin. Ann Intern Med 1993;119:273-277
2. Goodman and Gilman's: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 10th edition. New York. McGraw-Hill Book Company, 2001
3. Baselt RC. Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man. Seventh edition. Foster City, CA. Biomedical Publications, 2004 pp 1254
4. Mozayani A: Ketamine-Effects on human performance and behavior. Forensic Sci Rev 2002;14:123-131