Ketamine FAQS

Most Popular Questions

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In the 1960’s ketamine was FDA approved as a dissociative anesthetic and analgesic. Due to its efficacy in various applications, it has since earned a spot on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. As an antidepressant, treatment dosage is too low to produce any anesthetic effects. When used correctly, ketamine is highly effective at treating even the worst cases of depression, oftentimes when other treatments fail.
We have found that administering ketamine intravenously is the most effective delivery method. As an infusion, the solution is 100% biologically available allowing for the greatest chance of a successful treatment. We can also offer it intranasally, intramuscularly, orally, or sublingually, however these methods offer less of the medication to the body as they pass through to the brain.

All patients must first qualify to receive any ketamine infusion treatments. In order to qualify, each patient must complete and submit a set of patient intake forms. Some of these forms require a signature from your primary care doctor or mental healthcare provider. Once completed, an initial consultation is scheduled. During this consultation, your symptoms and medications are reviewed, any remaining questions are answered, and then you will receive the first infusion in one of the administration rooms.

  • Some patients experience nausea while receiving their infusion. As a result, we encourage each of our patients to avoid eating solid foods, soup, or pulpy juices six hours prior to their appointment. If nausea persists, we are prepared to supplement your infusion with anti-nausea medication.
  • Please arrive at our clinic 15-minutes earlier than each scheduled appointment time.
  • For depression, a ketamine infusion typically lasts around 45 minutes. However, for treating chronic pain, an infusion can last up to 4-hours depending on the severity.
  • During each infusion, we closely monitor your heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. Although it is uncommon, sometimes some of our patients experience non-threatening hallucinations. This is likely due to an increased level of epinephrine and cortisol — stress — over receiving the treatment. Therefore, we try to make each experience as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Since each patient will remain awake and alert during their infusion—some try to pass the time by listening to music during their appointment.
  • We ask that each patient remain at the clinic for 30 minutes following each infusion. Although most patients do not experience any side-effects after this time, we still monitor them during this period before permitting a family member or friend to take them home. It is also not recommended to operate any heavy machinery for 24-hours.
As with most medications, ketamine can be abused in large doses recreationally. This is largely how it earned its undeserved reputation as a “party drug.” Despite this, ketamine is not a physically addictive substance. When used as a depression treatment, the ketamine is administered in much smaller doses. This also prevents most, if not all, of the typical side-effects from taking a larger dose. Each treatment is only administered in our clinic, and we do not send our patients home with prescriptions for ketamine.
Ketamine has been shown to offer effective symptom relief in over 70% patients — most of the time after the first infusion. Considering that traditional antidepressants have a 40% success rate, and take weeks or months to have an effect, this is a remarkable difference. Each patient’s body and mind is different, so that means each recipient will experience different results. Some patients feel an immediate shift in their attitude and mood for the better, while others feel their fog of depression lift gradually. With such a high success rate, and relatively low risk, we are confident that most patients will find relief in a predicable amount of time.
Ketamine is not physically addictive. However, like most drugs, when abused recreationally in large doses, it can become psychologically addictive. When ketamine is administered for depression it is done so in safer, smaller doses. Since ketamine infusions can only be administered under supervision in an official clinic like ours, there is a relatively low risk involved for each patient. Our patients are never given prescriptions for ketamine, nor can any patient leave with it.
Numerous studies have found ketamine infusions to be most effective when they are administered serially over a two week period. We recommend a set of 4-6 infusions initially, followed by occasional maintenance infusions as needed. For some maintenance infusions will only few times a year, while for others it may be more frequent than that.

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