Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions about Ketamine
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been used on both humans and animals for over 52 years and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States in 1970. In the last 15 years or so Ketamine was found to offer impressive results in treating severe chronic depression through intravenous infusion therapy.
Are there any side effects?
When used in controlled doses under a doctor’s supervision, side effects from Ketamine are rare, affecting less than 2% of patients. Some patients report drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, and the sensation of having an “out-of-body” experience, but these symptoms typically subside within the first hour of receiving treatment. Over 15 years of research into the use of Ketamine to treat severe depression have shown no long-term side effects.
Am I allowed to drive the day of the infusion?
While you are allowed to drive yourself to your appointment, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home. Grogginess after treatment is extremely common, which is why patients are required to have a driver present to transport them home.
Are there certain conditions that are contra-indications for Ketamine treatment?
Yes. All patients are required to undergo a medical screening and urinalysis to see if they are candidates for Ketamine therapy. Patients with a history of cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled hypertension, and a history of psychosis do not qualify for treatment. Patients who exhibit signs of current or recent (within the past year) substance abuse are also prohibited from undergoing treatment.
Will I require a booster infusion?
The duration of symptom relief varies from patient to patient. Most patients experience symptom relief for 1-2 months following the initial cycle of infusions, with some patients experiencing relief for up to 6 months. Single booster infusions are scheduled when needed to maintain symptom relief.
Is Ketamine therapy guaranteed to work?
Unfortunately, Ketamine therapy does not work for all patients. Research has shown an over 70% success rate in clinical trials. We can typically tell if Ketamine infusions are working for patients after only one or two treatments. If an improvement is not seen at that time, further infusions will be discontinued.
Do I continue my current treatments for depression when undergoing Ketamine therapy?
Yes. You should let your healthcare provider know you are doing Ketamine therapy while continuing your current regimen. We will gladly talk to your healthcare provider about your Ketamine treatment if you wish us to do so.
Is Ketamine addictive?
Studies have shown that Ketamine, when administered at low and controlled doses under a doctor’s care, is not addictive.
Do I need to be referred by a psychiatrist?
No, although you will be required to meet with our psychiatrist to discuss your condition and current diagnosis before determining a treatment plan.