Ketamine FAQs

Ketamine, an anesthetic agent approved by the FDA, was first developed in 1962. Initially, it served as an induction agent for general anesthesia in surgeries involving children, adults, and animals. Its notable safety profile has made it particularly suitable for use in pediatric care. In recent times, ketamine has shown significant efficacy in treating depression, PTSD, fibromyalgia, and various other conditions.

Research studies indicate that ketamine infusions can be effective in treating depression for 60-80% of individuals. While the effects typically last for several weeks, some individuals may experience a depression-free period that extends for several months.

Ketamine’s mechanism of action differs entirely from that of traditional antidepressant medications. Although the precise process by which ketamine alleviates depression remains complex and under study, it is understood that ketamine affects a neurotransmitter called glutamate. This interaction promotes the production of a critical growth factor that aids in repairing neurons damaged by stress and mental illness. Consequently, ketamine can enhance mood within hours or days and stimulate the regeneration of nerve cells over time.

At The Infusionist, we prioritize evidence-based research to administer ketamine infusion therapy to our patients. Our primary objective is to address mental illness and offer an alternative to individuals who have not found success with conventional medications or psychotherapy. Promising studies have shown significant effectiveness in treating severe, chronic, treatment-resistant depression.

Therefore, individuals diagnosed with major depression, bipolar depression, postpartum depression, or dysthymia may benefit from ketamine infusions. Additionally, research indicates that ketamine can effectively treat fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal ideation. Ketamine also shows potential in mitigating symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and various anxiety disorders.

Ketamine infusion therapy is not recommended for patients diagnosed with psychosis. Additionally, individuals with high blood pressure, cardiac, or pulmonary issues may need to obtain medical clearance from their primary care physician before commencing ketamine infusions.

Please refrain from consuming any solid foods or milk for 6 hours before your ketamine infusion. Clear liquids such as water, fruit juices without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, and black coffee are permissible up until 2 hours before your infusion. It is imperative to avoid alcohol and any illicit drugs, as these substances can be extremely dangerous when combined with ketamine.

No, the dose of ketamine you will receive will not cause any loss of consciousness.

 

 

Ketamine is administered intravenously over a period of 45 minutes. Initially, you may not experience any noticeable effects, but as the infusion continues, you may feel a sensation of “lightness” or “floating,” often described as a “weight being lifted off your shoulders.” Most patients report mild dissociative symptoms that are generally well tolerated. You will be monitored throughout the infusion, and we are equipped to manage any unpleasant side effects that may arise during the procedure. Within 15 minutes of completing the infusion, you will begin to regain your senses, and your thinking will return to normal.

Before your first treatment, you will be asked to complete a few brief questionnaires to establish a baseline. Following each infusion, we will conduct follow-up assessments to determine your response. If necessary, we can adjust the treatment to maximize benefits and minimize any adverse effects. After the infusion, you may notice positive effects as early as 30 minutes post-infusion, although improvements typically begin several hours after the treatment.

Yes, ketamine infusions are an outpatient procedure and do not require a hospital stay.

 

 

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

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