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What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a synthetic compound medication that can be used as an anesthetic antidepressant through a relaxing IV infusion that takes about 40 minutes. It is an FDA approved medication that blocks the neural receptors for glutamate. Ketamine has anti-inflammatory properties that can stimulate neuronal growth, neuroplasticity, and synaptogenesis in fighting conditions including depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain syndromes, among other ailments.

Ketamine can be an effective weapon in the fight against depression, anxiety, and addiction recoveries like PTSD and OCD. Ketamine therapy can help treat certain conditions including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain and restore the quality of your life.

How Ketamine Works

Ketamine works in a different way than traditional antidepressant and pain-relieving medications while still delivering the desired results. The drug functions on different neurotransmitters, pathways, and receptors in the central nervous system providing an antidepressant and analgesic effect.

Ketamine interacts with glutamate, an amino acid present in 80% of neurons, which regulates information and communicates with different areas of the brain and body. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that activates connections in the AMPA receptors leading to other molecules being released.

All this activity results in the neurons communicating and create new pathways that can ultimately impact thoughts, mood, and cognition.

Ketamine can change the levels of glutamate and its influence on the brain and body by impeding and blocking the nerve channels, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, that cause pain sensations, without stopping normal nerve function. Ketamine can help decrease inflammatory signals linked to mood disorders. Therefore, creating an anesthetic effect for pain and relief from depression.

Ketamine Therapy Research

Considered one of two essential drug anesthetics by the World Health Organization (WHO), ketamine has been used for over 50 years as an anesthesia medication intravenously to induce and maintain a loss of consciousness in medical settings like hospitals for many human procedures, including cardiac catheterization, diagnostic in the facial area, orthopedic, skin grafts, and some dental treatments.

During studies at Yale research labs, it was discovered that ketamine could influence the production of glutamate and provoke the brain into forming new neural connections. Having been used as anesthesia during surgeries, ketamine could help the brain create new pathways for more positive thoughts. It was an effect that had not been observed with traditional antidepressants. The studies showed that ketamine could be used to target abnormalities within the glutamatergic system in the brain.

Several of the studies at Yale resulted in more than half of the patients, who had little to no improvement on other antidepressants, showing a significant reduction in symptoms of depression after a single day.

Other conditions that can benefit from Ketamine therapy include:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Depression
  • Central Pain Syndrome
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS or RSD)
  • Chronic Neck, Back and Joint Pain
  • Diabetic Neuropathies
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis Pain
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe Depression or Unipolar Depression
  • Suicidal Ideations
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for Ketamine?

If you suffer from depression, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions and seeking for help, you are an excellent candidate for ketamine. It may be that your current medications are not as effective or you require faster relief than conventional medication.

Is Ketamine safe?

Ketamine is considered safe when administered properly as a treatment for depression and chronic pain with a dosage much lower than anesthesia used in a surgical setting. Your medical history, current health, and existing medication list are assessed before your treatment.

What is the procedure for Ketamine?

Ketamine IV therapy usually takes between 40 and 60 minutes. You will be awake the entire time but may experience a mild dissociative experience, including sensitivity to light and sound. These effects dissipate quickly, usually within half an hour.

How do I prepare for a Ketamine treatment?

You should not eat six hours before your treatment. For example, patients who have a morning appointment should plan not to eat or drink liquids after midnight. It is acceptable to have some water or clear liquids up to two hours before your treatment. 

What is the recovery from Ketamine?

Most patients leave our clinic within half an hour after their treatment. Some people feel a little drowsy and may experience mild difficulty in mental skills or walking for a few hours. It is best to plan for a relaxing day after your visit with us. 

How many treatments of Ketamine will I need?

It depends on your specific situation, including your current health and any other addictions. You will have an opportunity to discuss with us what may be appropriate for you. There are currently no standard guidelines. Some studies suggest six to eight initial treatments over the course of two weeks or so followed by maintenance infusions as needed monthly.

How soon will I experience the benefits of Ketamine?

Some patients start to feel the impact of ketamine within an hour of their first treatment. Other patients may need two treatments before noticing the effect of the drug. Depressed patients often experience relief from a sense of hopelessness. The benefits of ketamine can take some time and be gradual before realizing substantial relief. 

How is Ketamine different from traditional antidepressants?

Conventional antidepressants may be effective in up to 60% of patients and contain side effects like fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances, reduced sexual drive, and weight gain. In up to 80% of patients, ketamine treatments bring immediate relief from depression, within minutes to hours of treatment. The treatment has minimal side effects that usually do not last more than a few hours. 

What percentage of people benefit from Ketamine?

According to research, there has been an improvement in up to 90% of patients that are treated with ketamine.

What are the results of Ketamine?

A ketamine IV therapy can provide benefits from a few days to a month or so. With a series of a few infusions, the results can last a few months. One booster infusion can also restore and extend the benefits of ketamine. 

What are the side effects of Ketamine?

The possible side effects of Ketamine, when given by infusion, are usually minimal but may include blurry vision, feeling woozy, high blood pressure, mild drowsiness, nausea, numbness, and vomiting. There can also be unusual dissociation like agitation, noise that appears stimulating, or vivid dreams but most of these effects are not common and do not last long.

What medications can interfere with Ketamine?

Please advise us of all the medications you are currently taking. Some drugs that may interfere with ketamine include Ativan, Benzodiazepine, Klonopin, Lamictal, Valium, and Xanax. You do not need to adjust any dose for aarti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants. 

Are Ketamine infusions addictive?

There is no evidence that ketamine infusion is addictive with its low dosage and frequency to treat mood disorders.

What conditions can cause Ketamine treatment to be ineffective?

Ketamine can influence conditions including active substance abuse, bipolar disorder, current psychotic symptoms like delusions, uncontrolled blood pressure, unstable heart disease, or untreated thyroid disease.

Will Ketamine help with my depression?

Over the past 15 years, multiple clinical studies have shown that ketamine therapy can treat depression effectively with a success rate of up to 80% with most patients experiencing immediate improvement after one or two treatments. 

What can Ketamine help me with?

Ketamine can help with many conditions: major depression, anxiety, bipolar depression, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), fibromyalgia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others. 

Isn’t Ketamine also a street drug?

There are variations of ketamine on the street often known as Special K, Kit Kat, or simply K which consists of significantly higher dosages. Ketamine IV therapy does use a low dosage with controlled administration.

What is the goal of Ketamine?

Ketamine IV therapy will provide a significant improvement in your level of pain or mood disorder. Consequently, you will also experience an increase in your mood and the quality of your life.

Medical Disclaimer

This site is designed to provide information about ketamine and our therapy treatments but does substitute medical or professional care. The information on this site is for educational purposes only. You should consult the advice of your physician or healthcare provider. We are not liable or responsible for any advice, diagnosis or any course of treatment you obtain through this site.

We use low doses of ketamine to help our patients with symptoms of depression, chronic pain, and certain pain diagnosis. We prescribe ketamine in an effective manner during our treatments and monitor our patients for any potential side effects. The FDA approves Ketamine and it is considered a safe drug. However, every individual reacts differently to any drug. There is no way to predict how anyone will respond to ketamine treatment. If you experience any unusual mental or physical symptoms after a ketamine treatment, please consult your physician and refrain from driving, drinking alcohol, using drugs or participate in any activity that requires you to use your motor skills or memory.

Be aware that ketamine can be addictive and become a dependency for any individual with a history of drug misuse or dependence. Ketamine may cause mild to severe symptoms that can include anxiety, disorientation, flashbacks, hallucinations, insomnia, restlessness, and unhappiness.

If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately. If you have any health concerns or a medical condition, please consult your physician or healthcare provider as soon as possible. You should not rely on the information on this website as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Medical information is constantly changing; information on this website may not be considered current, complete or exhaustive. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk.