Ketamine, an FDA-approved medication developed in 1962, is most commonly used as a surgical anesthetic. It has been found to be effective in treating conditions such as depression, chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and suicidal tendencies. The use of ketamine outside of an anesthetic is considered to be "off-label," but is allowed when deemed medically appropriate by a physician.
What are the risks of ketamine infusions?
Common risks associated with ketamine infusions include feelings of lightheadedness, exhilaration, perceptual changes, disorientation, floating sensations, difficulty concentrating, difficulty paying attention, and a temporary mild increase in blood pressure. Before your first infusion, we'll go over some of the infrequent risks that may be associated with this treatment.
How long does it take for a ketamine infusion to take effect?
When given intravenously, the antidepressant effects of ketamine can begin within 1-2 hours, depending on each person's metabolic profile. Some may not experience significant changes until the acute phase of treatment is finished. Studies have shown that ketamine infusions may bring about gradual improvements in mood, with the third treatment often providing the most noticeable result. In many cases, these positive effects go on to improve steadily over time.
Are there any immediate side effects associated with ketamine infusions?
Patients commonly feel tired or groggy following an infusion. Some patients experience mild nausea, lightheadedness, perceptual changes, difficulty paying attention, and might have a mild increase in blood pressure following an infusion. Any persistent side effects that may be experienced typically subside within a few hours and are usually resolved by the following day.
Will my medications interfere with the therapy?
Please make sure you tell our physician about all the medications you are taking, as some of them might reduce the effectiveness of ketamine treatment.
Ketamine: Is Treatment, Not A Cure.
While ketamine has been effective in treating anxiety symptoms, it is not a cure for the disorder itself. This means that patients need to receive a series of scheduled infusions in order to control their anxiety symptoms. It is important to understand that an immediate feeling of relief does not mean that the underlying problem has disappeared; therefore, you should always continue with your prescribed treatment plan until your provider recommends otherwise.
Some patients may experience immense relief after one infusion, while most will experience relief after the third or fourth infusion. Others may notice a decrease in their depressive symptoms days or weeks after treatment. Your symptoms, specific needs, and treatment goals will be taken into account to create a personalized plan of care just for you.