How Long Does Ketamine Treatment Last?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Hrymoc, M.D.

Ketamine treatment’s duration of benefit varies, typically lasting several weeks to months. The standard length of each infusion lasts 40 minutes, with a 60-minute recovery time in the office. A course of treatment consists of 6 sessions over a 2-3 week period. The exact duration depends on individual response and treatment goals.

Ketamine treatment, known for its rapid relief in certain mental health conditions, raises questions regarding its duration and efficacy.

The length of treatment can vary significantly from person to person, influenced by factors such as dosage, frequency, and individual response.

In this article, we’re exploring a common question we hear from people interested in ketamine treatment: How long does ketamine treatment last?

How Long Does Ketamine Treatment Last?

Ketamine treatment for conditions like depression and chronic pain involves a series of infusions or nasal sprays over a period of time.

Typically, a standard course includes an induction phase of multiple sessions over two to three weeks, followed by maintenance treatments.

The duration of the induction phase often consists of 6 sessions, each lasting 40 minutes. Following this phase, maintenance treatments may occur at gradually extending intervals, ranging from weekly to monthly, depending on individual response and clinical judgment.

It’s important to note that while some patients may experience rapid relief after the first few sessions, others might require a longer treatment course to achieve optimal results.


The dosage of ketamine in treatment is a critical factor that influences both its effectiveness and duration. Unlike higher doses used in anesthesia, ketamine for mental health treatment is administered in significantly lower doses.

The exact dosage is determined based on individual factors such as the patient’s weight, overall health, and the severity of symptoms.

A typical starting dose might be around 0.5 mg/kg, but this can vary. The clinician will monitor the patient’s response to the medication and adjust the dose accordingly, either increasing or decreasing it to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Finding the right dosage is a delicate balance; too low may be ineffective, while too high can increase the risk of side effects.

This careful dosage titration is essential in ensuring that the treatment is both safe and effective, influencing the overall length and success of the therapy.

Frequency of Use

The frequency of ketamine treatments is a decisive factor in the therapy’s overall duration and success.

Initially, treatments are usually more frequent to build up the drug’s effect. A common regimen involves sessions two to three times a week for the first two to three weeks. This induction phase is crucial for achieving a cumulative effect, which is essential for the treatment’s efficacy.

As the patient begins to show improvement, the frequency of sessions is typically reduced. This transition to a maintenance phase, where treatments might be spaced out to once every few weeks or even monthly, depends on the individual’s response to the therapy.

The frequency is adjusted based on continuous assessment of the patient’s symptoms and needs, ensuring that the treatment remains effective over time while also considering the patient’s convenience and comfort.

Method of Administration

Ketamine can be administered through various methods, each influencing the treatment’s onset, duration, and effectiveness.

The most common method in clinical settings is intravenous (IV) infusion, which allows for precise control over the drug’s dosage and rate of administration. IV infusions generally have a rapid onset of action and a short duration, requiring about 40 minutes per infusion with a hour of recovery time after.

Intramuscular (IM) injections are another option, offering a faster and more potent onset of action.

Nasal sprays containing Esketamine (Spravato), a purified form of ketamine, and sublingual troches (dissolvable tablets placed under the tongue or between cheek and gum) provide a non-invasive administration method.

The choice of administration method depends on several factors, including the patient’s medical history, the severity of symptoms, and personal preferences. Each method has its own set of advantages and considerations, playing a significant role in the overall treatment plan and its duration.

Presence of Other Illnesses

The presence of co-occurring illnesses can significantly impact the duration and approach of ketamine treatment.

Patients with complex medical histories or other mental health disorders may require a more tailored treatment approach. For instance, conditions like chronic pain, severe depression, anxiety disorders, or a history of substance abuse might necessitate adjustments in dosage, frequency, and monitoring during ketamine therapy.

The interaction of ketamine with other medications being used to treat these conditions is also a crucial consideration, as it can affect the efficacy and safety of the treatment. In such cases, the treatment duration might be extended, and the approach may be more cautious, with close monitoring for any adverse effects or interactions.

This individualized treatment plan ensures that the therapy remains safe and effective for patients with multiple health concerns.

Explore Ketamine Treatment Today

Are you considering ketamine treatment for your mental health needs? The Mental Health Center offers comprehensive ketamine therapy, tailored to your unique situation.

We offer our patients the highest quality care, ensuring your treatment is safe, effective, and suited to your specific needs.

Schedule an initial evaluation today and take the first step towards a brighter, healthier future. Let us help you explore the potential benefits of ketamine treatment in your journey towards wellness.

Related: Frequently Asked Questions about Ketamine Treatment


Ketamine treatment offers a promising option for those struggling with certain mental health conditions.

Its duration is influenced by various factors, including dosage, frequency, method of administration, and individual patient characteristics. Understanding these factors can help set realistic expectations for those considering this treatment.

With personalized care and professional guidance, ketamine therapy can be an effective part of a comprehensive mental health treatment plan.