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Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic known as an 'NMDA antagonist.' It was developed more than 50 years ago for anesthesia during surgery and has been used for that purpose since that time in children and adults. Recently, ketamine has been found to be a valuable and highly effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and certain pain disorders. When correctly administered in precise, carefully-controlled dosages by a skilled and licensed medical provider, ketamine has the ability to rapidly reduce symptoms of pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD.
Ketamine may be used to reduce symptoms of depression, the depressed phase of bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and OCD, pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), and addiction.
Ketamine is an extremely safe medication when administered in a controlled setting and in low doses by a qualified provider. There are few contraindications, however, the following conditions may prevent your safe use of ketamine infusions: uncontrolled high blood pressure, unstable heart disease, untreated hyperthyroid disease, renal insufficiency, liver impairment, current manic episode, or active psychotic (hallucinations or delusions) symptoms associated with schizophrenia, history of ketamine dependence, and current pregnancy.
The dose of Ketamine used for infusions is very low and safe. Side effects are uncommon but may include a mild increase in blood pressure and heart rate, dizziness, temporary blurred vision, a sensation of 'lightness,' euphoria, and nausea. Our patients are monitored continuously to ensure safety and medications to treat any side effects such as nausea are always available.
It is possible to notice effects within 24 hours of a Ketamine infusion. By the end of the initial 6th infusion for mental health conditions, you will be able to determine the efficacy. Additional improvements are often seen further into the course of treatment. If you are having positive results with the initial series, it is recommended to have a maintenance/booster every 4-6 weeks.
During a Ketamine infusion, you will be offered numbing medicine to ease the IV placement. Then you will be placed in a comfortable recliner and an IV catheter will be gently inserted, and the infusion started. You will be encouraged to listen to music, relax, or even nap during the treatment. The infusion duration for most conditions will be 40 minutes. After the treatment, you will be required to stay for a recovery period, typically 15-30 minutes. You will need to have an adult present to drive you home from your appointment.
All patients are required to have a referral by a mental health provider. If you do not have one, options can be provided. In addition, records from your primary care provider with your most recent history and physical will be required.
You may bring things like tablets, headphones, mp3 players, spa/meditation music with headphones. Complimentary earplugs and eye covers are available for your use. As a courtesy to other patients, please refrain from telephone conversations during your appointments.
You should not take sympathomimetic medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, and phentermine the day of your infusion. Benzodiazepines should not be taken on the day of your infusion. Opioid pain medications and muscle relaxers should not be taken 6 hours prior to your infusion or within 3 hours after your infusion.