TABLE 1

Relevant doses and plasma concentrations of ketamine for its clinical use and side effects in humans

Clinical Uses and Side EffectsRoute of AdministrationKetamine DosePlasma CmaxReferences
Clinical effects
 General anesthesiaIntravenous1.0–2 mg/kg1200–2400 ng/ml; 5–10 μMSussman (1974), Clements et al. (1982), Idvall et al. (1983), Malaquin (1984), Malinovsky et al. (1996), Dachs and Innes (1997), Yanagihara et al. (2003), Weber et al. (2004), Craven (2007), Gao et al. (2016)
Intramuscular4–11 mg/kg
Rectal8–10.6 mg/kg
Oral500 mg (max)—sedation
IntranasalFor (S)-ketamine: 3–9 mg/kgN/RWeber et al. (2004), Huge et al. (2010), Reid et al. (2011)
 AnalgesiaIntravenous0.15 mg/kg70–160 ng/ml; 0.29–0.67 μMGrant et al. (1981), Clements et al. (1982), Hirlinger and Dick (1984), Weksler et al. (1993), Eide et al. (1995), Malinovsky et al. (1996), Stubhaug et al. (1997), Lauretti et al. (1999), Azevedo et al. (2000), Flood and Krasowski (2000), Tanaka et al. (2000), Carr et al. (2004), Marchetti et al. (2015)
Intramuscular0.5–1 mg/kg
Intranasal2 × 10–50 mg
Transdermal25 mg released throughout a 24-hour period
Subcutaneous0.05–0.15 mg/kg per hour for 7 days
Rectal10 mg/kg
Oral2 mg/kg
0.5 mg/kg45 ± 10 ng/ml; 0.19 ± 0.04 μMGrant et al. (1981)
 Anti-inflammationIntravenous0.15–0.25 mg/kgN/RRoytblat et al. (1998), Beilin et al. (2007), Russabrov et al. (2008)
 AntidepressantIntravenous0.5 mg/kg; 40-min infusion185 ng/ml; 0.78 μMZarate et al. (2006)
Side effects
 DissociationIntravenous0.5 mg/kg; 40-min infusion100–250 ng/ml; 0.42–1.1 μMKrystal et al. (1994)
 Psychotomimetic effects in subjects with schizophreniaIntravenous0.3 mg/kg bolus120 ng/ml; 0.5 μMLahti et al. (2001)
0.12 mg/kg bolus followed by a 60-min infusion of 0.65 mg/kg (total dose 0.77 mg/kg)N/RMalhotra et al. (1997)
 Cognitive and memory impairmentIntravenous40- to 120-min infusion of 0.4–0.8 mg/kgN/RMalhotra et al. (1996), Newcomer et al. (1999), Morgan et al. (2004), Mathew et al. (2010)
0.5 mg/kg bolus350 ng/ml; 1.5 μMPfenninger et al. (2002)
infusion over length of testing (total dose variable)N/RHarris et al. (1975), Driesen et al. (2013)
Intramuscular0.25–0.5 mg/kg bolusN/RGhoneim et al. (1985)
 Abuse (recreational use)Intravenous1–2 mg/kgN/RSiegel (1978), Dalgarno and Shewan (1996), Jansen (2000), Arditti et al. (2002), Wolff and Winstock (2006), Bokor and Anderson (2014)
Intramuscular50–150 mg
Oral100–500 mg
Intranasal30–400 mg
  • N/R, not reported.