Living with chronic pain or mental health conditions can be incredibly challenging. Conventional treatments may not always provide the relief we need to regain control of our lives. However, there is hope in the form of innovative therapies like ketamine infusion therapy. In this blog, we will take a closer look at what ketamine infusion therapy is, how it works, and what to expect during the treatment process.
Understanding Ketamine Infusion Therapy: An Overview
Ketamine infusion therapy involves the administration of a low-dose ketamine solution through an intravenous (IV) line. Ketamine is a medication that has been used for decades as an anesthetic in medical settings.
However, recent research has unveiled its remarkable potential in treating various chronic pain conditions and treatment-resistant mental illnesses when used in sub-anesthetic doses.
Ketamine works by targeting N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, which play a crucial role in pain perception and mood regulation. By modulating these receptors, ketamine can help restore normal brain function and promote neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt and rewire itself. The result is improved emotional regulation and pain processing in the brain.
Conditions Treated With Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine infusion therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of several mental health conditions, including treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, bipolar depression, substance use disorders, and suicidal ideation.
There is also a growing body of evidence showing that ketamine is highly effective in treating a variety of chronic pain conditions, especially those with a neuropathic component.
The Ketamine Treatment Process: What To Expect
Before beginning ketamine infusion therapy, a thorough consultation and medical assessment will be conducted to determine if it is the right treatment option for you. Once deemed suitable, the infusion sessions will be scheduled based on your personalized treatment plan.
During the sessions, you will relax in a comfortable environment while the ketamine solution is administered intravenously in a clinical setting. Throughout the infusion period, your healthcare team will closely monitor your vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs. Safety and comfort are top priorities during the entire treatment process.
A single infusion session typically takes approximately 1.5 hours to 1.25 hours. During the infusion process, you may experience a sense of relaxation, dream-like sensations, and altered perceptions. Some individuals describe a dissociative state or feeling disconnected from their bodies. It is important to note that these experiences are normal and temporary.
For optimal results, ketamine is usually administered as a series of six infusions spread across 2 to 3 weeks. The frequency and duration of the sessions will be determined based on your individual needs and treatment response.
Although some people may report experiencing symptom relief after a single treatment session, most people require multiple sessions to experience the full benefits of ketamine infusion therapy. After the acute treatment phase, maintenance infusions may be recommended to sustain remission.
Are There Any Potential Side Effects?
Ketamine infusion therapy is safe and well-tolerated when administered under professional supervision in a controlled clinical setting. But like most medications, ketamine infusions come with potential side effects. Luckily, they are generally mild and short-lived. These may include nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, or a temporary increase in blood pressure. Your healthcare provider will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you before starting treatment.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health condition or chronic pain disorder and have not found relief with traditional treatments, ketamine infusion therapy may be the answer you’ve been searching for.
At Big Sky Ketamine Care, we are committed to providing compassionate care and innovative ketamine treatment plans to help you regain control of your life. Contact us today to learn more about how ketamine infusion therapy can be a path to healing and recovery.