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Ketamine Infusion Therapy

What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Ketamine, an anti-depressive drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has proven successful in treating psychiatric disorders and chronic pain. Although it is primarily utilized in starting and managing the administering of anesthesia, in lower doses, it can assist with pain management and function as an anti-depressant. Ketamine infusion has also been used successfully to treat PTSD, anxiety, and major depressive disorder (MDS) when other frontline treatments have failed.

We do not treat pain disorders*

Information Regarding Ketamine Infusions

Is It Safe?

Ketamine infusion therapy is the administration of the medication over a series of intravenous infusions.In numerous studies, Ketamine has been effective for 40 to 60 percent of patients when administered as a mood stabilizer.

As opposed to many anti-depressants, Ketamine works within hours and could be successful in providing the serotonin and dopamine levels necessary to reach someone who is suicidal. Additionally, Ketamine can effectively reduce pain by targeting chemical receptors in the nervous system.

Ketamine should not be administered to patients that are also experiencing unstable heart conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, etc.), psychosis, substance abuse problems, severe liver disease, glaucoma, or uncontrolled high blood pressure. To determine if Ketamine is a safe option for you, consult with a doctor and provide a detailed medical history.

What Can I Expect?

Before scheduling your treatment, you will meet with a medical professional to review your medical records and discuss your ideal dosage. They will also provide more information regarding the treatment duration and frequency.

As with most intravenous medical procedures, the most painful part of the treatment is often the injection of the needle, which is similar to receiving IV fluids. Once inserted, the medication may feel cold when entering the bloodstream, but there should not be any additional pain. A medical professional will monitor your vitals with noninvasive instruments throughout your treatment. Most Ketamine infusion therapy sessions last for less than an hour.

During your treatment, you will likely experience deep relaxation and minor sedation. You should not, however, lose consciousness or experience hallucinations or “trips.” If you would like to listen to music or have your specialist dim or turn off the lights, it can increase the calming experience of Ketamine infusion therapy. Due to the minor sedation and relaxing effects, you should plan to coordinate a ride home in case of lasting fatigue.

Always consult with your doctor before undergoing Ketamine infusion therapy to ensure this treatment is right for you.

Side Effects

Like most medications, there are several potential side effects you may experience after undergoing Ketamine infusion therapy, including:

  • Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Deep relaxation
  • High blood pressure
  • Dissociation (often referred to as an out-of-body sensation)
  • Variance in perception (colors, noises, vision, textures, or sense of time)

Additionally, anyone who has a known history of substance abuse might consider other treatments, as Ketamine can have addictive properties similar to opioids. If administered in excess, Ketamine can cause symptoms of overdose, including:

  • Delusions
  • Pale or blue lips, skin, or fingernails
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • Convulsions
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain

Always consult with your doctor before undergoing Ketamine infusion therapy to ensure this treatment is right for you.

Treatment Schedule

The standard treatment schedule involves a loading series of two treatments per week for two weeks, then one treatment per week for the following two weeks. The maintenance schedule is then two booster infusions two weeks apart, followed by a third booster infusion one month later. The goal is to space each follow-up treatment monthly to every six weeks or longer as tolerated. Once beginning treatment, you must adhere to the treatment schedule and continue the regimen as advised by your medical professional to receive optimum results.

Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy Right For Me?

Ketamine can be an effective treatment plan to combat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other psychiatric disorders. Ketamine is also showing success in treating chronic pain. However, it should be considered as the last step in an attempt to resolve the discomfort. Ketamine infusion therapy should only be accessible after standard treatments have failed.

If you have had unsuccessful experiences with anti-depressants or other forms of behavioral and psychological therapy, Ketamine could be the next step. If other medications have failed to relieve your symptoms or if you have been unable to tolerate the side-effects of such treatments, Ketamine may be an alternative. However, if you identify with one of the following, Ketamine may not be suitable for you:

However, if you identify with one of the following, Ketamine may not be suitable for you:

  • History of psychosis
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • History of substance abuse
  • Dissociative disorder
  • Manic bipolar disorder
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • History of failed Ketamine treatments

If you have questions or concerns about Ketamine infusion therapy, the professionals at Arcara Psychiatry will provide an in-depth consultation to determine if Ketamine infusion therapy is the right treatment option for you.

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