If you feel like you have tried everything to treat your depression and nothing has worked, you may be inclined to try ketamine infusions. Ketamine for depression is effective in 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression, opposed to antidepressant medications that are effective in only 40% of patients. In addition to ketamine’s success rate, it works faster than traditional depression treatments, which can take up to 3 months to show signs of improvement. Ketamine is also thought to repair neurological pathways in the brain, which SSRIs and other antidepressants do not do. For these reasons, ketamine infusion therapy has been growing in popularity. If you are interested in ketamine infusions, it’s natural to have some questions about the standard process and what to expect during your first to a ketamine clinic.
Are Ketamine Infusions Right for You
Ketamine infusions are not the first line of depression treatment, but they can be effective for candidates who have treatment-resistant depression and have not responded to two or more antidepressant medications. Ketamine does not only treat depression, but can also help with PTSD, chronic pain, anxiety, and more. It’s important to note that ketamine infusions do require maintenance, and you must be willing to schedule appointments accordingly. The longer you have been undergoing treatment, the longer period of time you will be able to go without an infusion. Patients undergoing treatment for chronic pain can go up to 11 months between infusions. Although ketamine infusions require periodic maintenance, psychotropic medications require daily maintenance, so it isn’t that far-fetched to revisit a ketamine clinic every few months.
Scheduling a consultation and then visiting a ketamine clinic is the best way to find out whether or not you are a candidate for this type of treatment. If you schedule a free consultation with us, a trained medical professional will review your medical history and determine if ketamine infusions are the right course of treatment. If ketamine for depression is right for you, you will submit intake forms and schedule a time to visit our ketamine clinic where our trained medical professionals will put together a treatment plan including dosage amount, rate, and timeline of your visits.
What to Expect
Our goal is to make your experience as comfortable and easy as possible. When you come for your first infusion, an IV will be administered by a medical professional at the agreed dose. During this time period, you may feel a cooling sensation. You will be conscious throughout the process, and you can choose to relax, listen to music, or speak with family and friends. The ketamine process will take about 40 minutes to an hour to complete depending on your treatment plan. For patients being treated for chronic pain, infusions may take longer—even up to a few hours. If you experience any discomfort, for example, nausea, you will be given anti-nausea medication to ease your symptoms. Because ketamine has anesthetic properties, you may experience a slight out-of-body experience, because your mind is active while your bodily sensations dull. You may even feel slightly inebriated. These feelings are not a cause for concern, as you will be monitored by a medical professional every step of the process to ensure your safety.
After your infusion, we will continue to monitor you for 30-minutes before releasing you to a family or friend, as you should not operate heavy machinery for 24-hours after your infusion. If you are experiencing mild side effects, they will wear off within 2-hours of your infusion. Unlike SSRIs and other traditional medications, ketamine starts working immediately, and most patients notice an improvement to their mental health within 1-2 infusions. Some people even experience an improvement in as little as one hour.
If you have treatment-resistant depression and are looking to transform your life, contact our ketamine clinic today to see if ketamine for depression will work for you. Or, fill out the brief form below to get started.