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Bioavailability of Ketamine: Maximizing Therapeutic Efficacy Nasal Spray Ketamine. Ketamine Lozenge, IV Ketamine

Bioavailability of Ketamine: Maximizing Therapeutic Efficacy

Bioavailability of Ketamine

With its profound impact on mood disorders and pain management, ketamine has emerged as a game-changer in the realm of pharmacology. As research on this unique substance continues to evolve, one crucial aspect that demands attention is the diverse forms of ketamine available and their differing bioavailability profiles. Understanding how the bioavailability of ketamine varies across its different administration methods is important for both medical professionals and individuals seeking its therapeutic benefits. 

What is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability is a crucial concept when it comes to understanding the effectiveness of medications. Bioavailability of medications describes the rate and extent to which the medications are absorbed from their sites of administration and become available at the sites of action. Therefore, the bioavailability of ketamine refers to the amount of ketamine that successfully enters the bloodstream and becomes accessible for the brain to utilize. 


Why is Bioavailability of Ketamine important?

By understanding the concept of bioavailability, we can gain insights into the effectiveness and potency of ketamine, allowing for a better understanding of its therapeutic potential. In other words, bioavailability of ketamine is important because it tells a person how much of the medication they are getting. With this information you can compare costs and time to see which route fits your lifestyle and budget the best. 

Forms of Ketamine Administration​ ​

Oral Ketamine– This is when Ketamine capsules are swallowed. Oral ketamine has relatively low bioavailability—around 16% to 24%—due to the first-pass metabolism in the liver. While oral ketamine may have a slower onset and lower potency, it offers the advantage of convenience and ease of self-administration.

Sublingual Ketamine– Sublingual administration involves placing a ketamine lozenge under the tongue, allowing it to dissolve and absorb through the sublingual mucosa. Sublingual ketamine has an improved bioavailability of 30% compared to oral (16-24%.) The rich vascular supply and thin mucosal lining under the tongue facilitate direct absorption into the bloodstream, resulting in faster onset and higher bioavailability than oral ketamine.

Nasal Ketamine– Intranasal ketamine can be prepared using liquid ketamine or by compounding powdered ketamine into a nasal spray and has become popular because of ease and non-invasive. The bioavailability of intranasal ketamine varies depending on factors such as particle size and formulation. Studies have shown that bioavailability ranges from 25% to 50%, with faster absorption and onset of action compared to oral administration.

IM- Intramuscular (IM) ketamine involves injecting the drug into a muscle, usually the deltoid or gluteal region. This route of administration is commonly used for its simplicity and versatility. The bioavailability of IM ketamine is around 93%, resulting in rapid absorption and distribution throughout the body.

IV- Intravenous (IV) When administered intravenously, the bioavailability of ketamine is nearly 100%, allowing for precise control of dosage and rapid onset of action.

Chart of Ketamine Bioavailability with purple and blue ombre background and pink chart


In conclusion, the bioavailability of ketamine plays a crucial role in determining its effectiveness and therapeutic potential. By understanding how different forms of ketamine administration impact bioavailability, individuals seeking benefits of ketamine can make informed decisions. Oral, Sublingual and Intranasal ketamine offer convenience but have relatively low bioavailability. Intramuscular administration offers high bioavailability and rapid distribution but lacks control once administered. While intravenous administration ensures precise dosage control and near-perfect bioavailability of ketamine. Understanding the bioavailability of ketamine empowers individuals to compare costs, time, and personal preferences, optimizing their Ketamine Therapy experience.

If you would like to learn more about why we prefer IV Ketamine at KureIV over other forms of administration, you can do so by clicking here.

If you determine that IV (intravenous) ketamine is the most suitable option for your ketamine therapy, please contact us today or give us a call or text at (832) 598-5100

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About KureIV

KureIV provides safe, monitored ketamine infusion therapy for people who suffer from major depression, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and chronic pain in a friendly, professional environment.