Ketamine Facts

Frequently Asked Questions About Ketamine

Ketamine, which was first developed in 1962, is an anesthetic agent approved by the FDA. It has been widely used for inducing general anesthesia in children, adults, and animals during surgical procedures. Due to its excellent safety profile, ketamine is commonly used in pediatric anesthesia. However, it has recently been found to be highly effective in treating various conditions such as depression, PTSD, and fibromyalgia.

According to our research studies, infusions of ketamine to treat depression can be effective for over 80% of individuals. Although the effects of ketamine usually last for several weeks, some people can remain depression-free for months.

Ketamine works through a distinct mechanism of action, unlike any other antidepressant medication. While the exact mechanism by which ketamine relieves depression is still being investigated, it has been found to act on a neurotransmitter called glutamate.

This results in the production of a crucial growth factor that aids in the restoration of damaged neurons in the brain caused by stress and mental illness. As a result, ketamine can improve mood within hours or days, and also facilitate the regeneration of nerve cells over time.

Ketamine infusion therapy is not recommended for patients who have been diagnosed with psychosis. Additionally, if you have pre-existing high blood pressure, cardiac, or pulmonary conditions, it may be necessary to obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician before initiating ketamine infusions.

This results in the production of a crucial growth factor that aids in the restoration of damaged neurons in the brain caused by stress and mental illness. As a result, ketamine can improve mood within hours or days, and also facilitate the regeneration of nerve cells over time.

To prepare for your ketamine infusion, please refrain from consuming any solid foods and/or milk for at least 4 hours before your scheduled appointment. However, water can be consumed up to 2 hours before your infusion. It is imperative that you avoid consuming cannabis, alcohol or using any illicit drugs, as they can inhibit the ketamine and be dangerous.

No. The dose of ketamine you will receive does not cause any loss of consciousness. You will be in a very relaxed state and be completely aware of your surroundings.  

Ketamine is administered intravenously very slowly over 45 minutes. At the start of the infusion, you may not have noticeable effects, but as the infusion progresses, you may encounter a feeling of “lightness” or “floating,” which for some feels as a “weight being lifted off their shoulders.” Most patients describe mild dissociative symptoms that are generally well-tolerated. You will be monitored throughout the infusion and we are prepared to treat any unpleasant side effects during the procedure. Within 15 minutes of completing the infusion, you will start to regain your senses and your thinking will return to normal.

The effects are different for everyone. After a series of 6 infusions ketamine can last up to several weeks or several months for some people. Maintenance infusions or “boosters” will be necessary and can be administered on a regimen or as needed. 

Patients should not take benzodiazepines or any prescribed narcotics on the day of their infusion.

No, there is no need to stop any of the medications you are currently taking.

No, low-dose ketamine has been proven safe in humans. It has been used for years as a surgical anesthetic in children and in trauma management. Although it has been abused recreationally at much higher doses as a club drug, there is no evidence that low-dose ketamine is addictive. In addition, ketamine will be administered under medical supervision at subanesthetic doses.

It is suggested to undergo six infusions within a span of three weeks to fully harness the benefits of ketamine. The gradual repair and development of new nerve cells can result in sustained alleviation of symptoms. Nevertheless, the overall duration of treatment varies according to each person’s specific situation.

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