The Different Ways Ketamine Can Be Delivered & The Bioavailability For Each

the different ways ketamine can be delivered in leander texas

The Different Ways Ketamine Can Be Delivered & The Bioavailability For Each

Ketamine is a medication that has for decades been used primarily for pain management and general anesthesia. More recently, however, it has gained widespread attention thanks to its efficacy as an alternative treatment option for chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health disorders in what is now known as ketamine therapy.

There are several different ways of ketamine administration depending on an individual’s treatment needs. Below we will explore the most common modes of administration and the bioavailability of each.

What is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability refers to the amount of medication or other substance that enters the circulation system. It is a measure of the efficiency of a medication’s delivery and absorption into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of a medication can be affected by various factors, such as the route of administration, the form in which the medication is taken, and the presence of other medications or substances that may interact with it.

For example, the bioavailability of a medication that is taken orally (by mouth) may be lower than the bioavailability of the same medication that is given intravenously (IV) because the medication may be metabolized or degraded by the body’s digestive system before it reaches the bloodstream. On the other hand, the bioavailability of a medication given intravenously is typically high because the medication is injected directly into the bloodstream and bypasses the digestive system.

In general, the bioavailability of a medication can affect its effectiveness and how quickly it takes effect. A medication with a high bioavailability is more likely to produce the desired therapeutic effect, while a medication with a low bioavailability may require higher doses or more frequent dosing to achieve the same effect.

Modes of Ketamine Administration

Intravenous (IV) administration

Intravenous administration involves injecting the medication directly into a vein using an IV line. Intravenous ketamine is usually one of the fastest ways to administer ketamine because it is delivered directly into the bloodstream.

The bioavailability of intravenous ketamine is 100%, meaning that all the medication reaches the blood circulation and can take effect more rapidly. Ketamine IV infusion has a variety of applications, including pain management and mental health treatment.

Intramuscular (IM) administration

Intramuscular administration involves injecting the medication into a muscle using a needle and syringe. It may take slightly longer for the medication to find its way into the body’s circulation system and take effect compared to IV administration, but it is still relatively fast-acting.

The bioavailability of IM ketamine is estimated to be between 93%. IM ketamine is mainly used for pain management – but can also be used in managing symptoms of mental illnesses or to induce/maintain anesthesia if intravenous administration is not possible or appropriate.

Subcutaneous (SC) administration

Subcutaneous administration involves injecting the medication just beneath the skin. Like intramuscular ketamine, the bioavailability of SC ketamine is around 54-70% – which makes it moderately effective. This mode of ketamine administration is mainly used for analgesic purposes to manage non-chronic pain.

Epidural administration

Epidural administration involves injecting ketamine into the epidural space in the spinal cord. This method is commonly used in managing postoperative pain but may also be utilized in managing other forms of acute and chronic pain. The bioavailability of epidural ketamine is estimated to be around 77%.

Intranasal (nasal spray) administration

Intranasal administration involves spraying the medication into the nose using a nasal spray device. Ketamine nasal spray (esketamine) is FDA-approved as a complementary treatment for severe and refractory depression. The bioavailability of intranasal ketamine is around 45-50%, meaning only about half of the administered dose reaches circulation.

Oral (at-home pills/gummies) administration

Oral administration involves taking the medication by mouth in the form of pills or gummies. Oral ketamine has the lowest bioavailability at around 16-20%. This means that a relatively small amount of the medication is absorbed into the bloodstream, making it less effective than other modes of administration.

The Takeaway

Ketamine has different modes of administration with different levels of bioavailability as outlined above. Depending on your specific needs, your doctor or ketamine provider may recommend one method over the other for maximum efficacy.

That being said, it’s important to remember that ketamine should only be administered by an experienced professional in a controlled medical setting for safety and best treatment practices- unless otherwise advised.

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