What causes Ketamine withdrawal?

When a substance like Ketamine is regularly used for a prolonged period, physical and psychological addiction becomes more and more likely. Researchers are still studying the exact nature of physical addiction of ketamine on the human body. Physical addiction to ketamine is believed to occur when the addict’s body and brain chemistry begin to adjust to the constant presence of the drug. If the substance causes the brain to release certain chemicals or neurotransmitters, the brain will often stop producing those on its own. Then, when the use of the substance stops, there’s a serious deficit in those natural chemicals, causing withdrawal symptoms.

Symptoms of Ketamine withdrawal

Signs and symptoms of withdrawal can include:


  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nightmares
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Chills

Duration of Ketamine withdrawal

Ketamine withdrawal can last from 72 hours to several weeks. Although it is not considered life-threatening, it can be quite uncomfortable. Symptoms of withdrawal may typically set in between 24 to 72 hours after the last dose of ketamine. The duration of withdrawal varies from one person to another. This period depends on the amount of ketamine in the user’s body, their tolerance to the drug, and the amount of time the user has abused ketamine


Ketamine Withdrawal Timeline

The first three days of the withdrawal stage is characterized by acute withdrawal symptoms that typically start within 24 hours following the discontinuation of ketamine use.

Acute symptoms that may appear during this period:

  • shakes
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • rage
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • tremors,
  • double vision
  • nausea
  • rapid breathing
  • hearing loss

Withdrawal symptoms may persist for two more weeks, and after that, they start to fade.

After these first two weeks, most of the withdrawals’ signs and symptoms tend to stabilize. Even though the symptoms have faded, the brain damage is permanent, and the user may still present psychological issues.