Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication and has been used as an anesthetic since the 1970s in both operating rooms and for treating soldiers during the Vietnam War. However, for almost as long, it has been explored for its benefits in treating depression, PTSD, OCD, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions. In fact, it has been called “one of the biggest breakthroughs in depression management.”
Ketamine demonstrates significant effectiveness in treating these conditions, including treatment-resistant depression, which affects one in three depression patients and does not respond to conventional medications and talk therapy. Now there is hope and help!
Ketamine is a very well-known medication that has grown in popularity in recent years. It is used to treat several mental and physical ailments with outstanding results. The most popular use is as a treatment option for depression. It can relieve suicidal thoughts and other symptoms of this serious mental illness.
Our ketamine infusions are great for use with mood disorders and depression, especially if these health issues are not alleviated through other forms of treatment. Ketamine infusions may be new to you, so we want to be sure you know what to expect. Before we get into the specifics, be aware that the process is painless and safe.
Knowing what to expect before going in for ketamine infusions can help give you peace of mind so you can walk into your appointment with full confidence about the experience.
During your first infusion, you’ll be seated somewhere comfortable, and the experts will set up the ketamine infusion. A tiny needle will be inserted into a vein in your arm, something that often causes no discomfort. While the infusion is running, your blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen levels will be monitored.
As the infusion enters the bloodstream, you can expect to feel pleasurable sensations or a feeling of being disconnected from the rest of the world. This feeling is the ketamine which works to help the brain with things like PTSD and depression. Nausea is uncommon, but if it occurs, an anti-nausea medication will be used. The professional will be present throughout the process to address concerns and answer questions you may have.
You may experience some ketamine effects after the infusion is complete. In most cases, it takes around 30 to 45 minutes to recover from the effects. It’s best to arrange a driver to and from the facility as you should not drive directly after the infusion.
While side effects are possible with ketamine infusions, they are uncommon. You may feel slightly tired after the first treatment. Unlike some treatment options for depression and mood disorders, ketamine infusions do not create ongoing side effects.
Psychedelic therapy is a remarkable new treatment that has a high success rate in treating multiple conditions. We have attempted to compile an exhaustive list of these including the level of research that backs up these statements.
Common mental health disorders that can be treated with ketamine therapy include:
Substantial research and clinical results show that ketamine may be effective for:
Significant research and clinical results show that ketamine may be effective for:
Some research and clinical results show that ketamine may be effective for:
Limited research and clinical results show that ketamine may be effective for:
After your initial consultation, ketamine infusions are usually scheduled six or more times over 2-4 weeks depending on your schedule. After the initial treatment course, patients generally continue with maintenance doses on a monthly basis.
You will have a consultation to determine if ketamine infusion therapy will reduce your pain or mood disorder. Our team will then create a treatment plan tailored specifically to you for maximum results.
Depending on the severity of your condition and other medications you are on, you may be offered six or more consecutive sessions of ketamine treatment. Based on the treatment plan devised for you, you will relax from one to two hours per session while having the infusion, and then spend 20 minutes to one hour recovering afterwards.
Our team works hard to ensure you experience no more than minimal discomfort and side effects using best practice standards.
Everybody is unique and responds to treatment in their own way. For mood disorder patients, some will begin to feel better within hours of their 3rd or 4th infusion.
Patients with thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation often notice those thoughts and feelings dissipate first. There is often a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness, anxiety, dysphoria, physical fatigue, insomnia and much more.
Many patients report the increased ability to function and be productive immediately. Other patients may not notice any improvement in mood until after their 5th or 6th infusion. Some patients will require more infusions and more time following their infusions before feeling significantly better.
It is important to note that the results of ketamine can be sudden and dramatic, but they are not always. It is more common for patients to see gradual, subtle improvement. Sometimes function improves before mood does.
A typical treatment using a dosage for mental health will normally take around one hour. For patients seeking treatment for chronic pain, these infusions take around two hours due to the higher dosage involved.
You should ensure that you are accompanied to the treatment as you will not be able to operate a motor vehicle after ketamine treatment.
Ketamine produces very different effects depending on whether someone takes a little or a lot.
Ketamine can give sensations of lightness (like walking on the moon), dizziness, and euphoria. It makes people’s thoughts flow randomly; ideas can seem special and important, or pleasantly or unpleasantly muddled. Things may begin to look and sound different or somehow unreal.
At Nepenthe Wellness we have created a welcoming relaxing and safe environment for people to experience ketamine treatment and there is no reason to worry about the effects of treatment.
Patients commonly feel tired following an infusion. On rare occasion, some patients experience nausea after an infusion. If so, we have anti-nausea medication that can relieve this. If you are prone to nausea, we can administer anti-nausea medicine as a preventive measure before the infusion.
Side effects usually dissipate within a few hours and are completely gone by the following day. There are no known long-term or permanent side effects of low dose IV ketamine therapy when administered by a clinician in a medical setting.
Uncontrolled blood pressure, unstable heart disease, untreated thyroid disease, active substance abuse, current manic phase of bipolar disorder, active psychotic (hallucinations or delusions) symptoms, severe liver disease or pregnancy may preclude you from having ketamine infusions.
If you have questions about your specific medical conditions, give our office a call for more information on 512-986-7723.
Some patients achieve long-term relief after one series of infusions. Others find that infusions enhance the impact of antidepressants or provide initial relief that is then sustained by oral medicines, other therapies.
If ketamine therapy is the only solution that works for you, you may be able to space your infusions apart by 1-3 months. After the initial series of infusions restores the brain to a healthy balance, it is generally easier to maintain that balance than it was to attain it in the first place.
Follow-up or “booster” infusions are provided on an as-needed basis for maintenance.
In the dosages and frequency of administration we utilize for treatments at Nepenthe Wellness Center, ketamine does not pose any concerns for addiction. We carefully monitor all patients for tolerance and continually assess responses to treatment to optimize the benefits of ketamine in your care.