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KETAMINE FAQ

WHAT IS KETAMINE?

Soldiers hurt in combat in the 1970s were once given ketamine as anesthetic. Around 1975, ketamine also started to be sold on the streets, where it was mishandled and abused by those seeking to have hallucinations and altered states of consciousness. The drug was declared a scheduled narcotic by President Nixon, making its usage and possession prohibited. If detected, doing so would have serious legal repercussions.

Although ketamine was a street drug, users claimed it reduced the symptoms of poor mental health. Unfortunately, it took until the late 1990s before ketamine could be further studied for therapeutic uses. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ketamine for depression that has not responded to treatment, but only as a nasal spray. Esketamine is the drug's official name.

WHAT IS KETAMINE IV THERAPY?

Intravenous refers to entering a vein. Therefore, administering ketamine intravenously is ketamine treatment. Doctors can provide ketamine to you this way by injecting it straight into a vein with a syringe. Alternately, a needle is attached to a line that connects to a bag that holds a solution containing the medication, which drips gradually into your veins.

The medicine, in this case, is ketamine.

Only a psychiatrist or medical professional can administer ketamine IV treatment in a clinical environment. Ketamine is not prescribed to you, and you will never be given a dose to take home. The smallest dose of ketamine will be administered to you by your doctor and nurse, who will also keep an eye on you for the duration of the hour-long session.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF KETAMINE IV THERAPY?

The most significant advantage of ketamine IV therapy discovered through study is that it lessens suicidal ideas and attempts. In one study, 1.5 hours after receiving a dose of ketamine, 88% of emergency room patients who had suicidal thoughts left.

In another study, participants' suicidal and depressive thoughts were reduced by 50%, while their anxiety levels dropped by 30%.

The conversation regarding utilizing ketamine to treat a variety of other physical and mental health conditions, such as the following, is made possible by studies like these:

  • Chronic pain and fibromyalgia

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

 

According to several studies, depression causes the hippocampus, which is involved in memory, to gradually shrink. This suggests a connection between untreated depression and dementia. According to the same study, ketamine enhances the brain's plasticity, or capacity for creating new connections. When this occurs, the hippocampus keeps expanding and changing.

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF KETAMINE IV THERAPY?

Since the dose of ketamine you receive during IV therapy is so low, it usually wears off within an hour after your session. If there are any side effects, they will probably only last for this long but, in some situations, they might persist even after therapy. For this reason, you need a ride to and from your ketamine IV therapy appointment.

Some reports claim that side effects, if they do occur, are mild and may include the following:

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Light-headedness

  • Blurred vision

  • Confusion

  • Out-of-body experience

  • Hallucinations

 

Additional side effects, although rare, must be considered and discussed before treatment. Examples include an allergic reaction to the drug, muscle stiffness or spasms, cardiovascular changes, respiratory changes, unusual thoughts, irrational behaviors, changes in emotions, or sleep disturbances.

ketamine therapy step by step

KETAMINE THERAPY STEP BY STEP

WHY IS IT RECOMMENDED TO START WITH 6 SESSIONS IN A 3-WEEK PERIOD?

A 40-minute IV infusion of 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine is considered the "gold standard" procedure for usage in treating mental illness. Research has shown that arranging the treatments into 6 sessions over the course of three weeks allows us to extend the benefit to last weeks or even months. One treatment can last days or even a week.

WHAT IS THE COST OF KETAMINE TREATMENT? HOW MANY TOTAL VISITS ARE INITIALLY RECOMMENDED?

Please contact our office for details at 1-424-258-9928 or fill out the form below and we will contact you.

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HOW OFTEN DO I NEED BOOSTER SESSIONS?

Following the induction period, booster sessions may be required every 2 to 12 weeks.

DOES YOUR OFFICE TAKE INSURANCE?

No, but we do offer statements that you can use to ask your PPO insurance for reimbursement.

ARE THERE LONG-TERM SIDE EFFECTS OF KETAMINE TREATMENT?

It is extremely rare for side effects to persist for more than 24 hours after treatment. It is usually not unpleasant to experience sensations of calm, moderate balance or coordination problems (thus the advice not to drive till the next day), and relaxed inhibitions within 24 hours of a treatment. Long-term use of ketamine can result in bladder inflammation (cystitis), but this is more frequently documented in recreational users of high doses of ketamine than in people receiving it for valid medical needs. We shall have a thorough discussion prior to treatment before formally requesting your agreement to proceed with the procedure.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR KETAMINE TREATMENT?

Ketamine is meant for those who have tried at least two conventional oral antidepressants yet still have symptoms of depression or anxiety. A recent heart attack, stroke, psychosis (hallucinations, delusions), or bladder irritation (cystitis) may disqualify you from receiving ketamine treatment, or you may need a doctor's approval.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE AGAINST COVID?

All of our employees are immunized and wear masks while working with you. All clients and employees who come to our office are evaluated for symptoms and exposures, and their temperatures are taken. Every patient receives their own pair of eye shields and utilizes fresh sheets throughout sessions.

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