What are the side effects of ketamine?

Side effects from ketamine infusions generally subside within an hour of treatment, when administered by a medical professional. Commonly reported side effects include drowsiness, mild nausea, numbness, as well as a mild, temporary increase in blood pressure. Heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored closely throughout the course of the infusion. Less common side effects include vivid dreams, mood swings, or agitation. These more rare kinds of side effects can be controlled by adjusting the dosage.

Are there health risks associated with ketamine?

As with any substance or synthetic drug, adverse effects can be experienced when taken beyond the recommended dosage. This is why it’s important to only use ketamine under medical supervision.

Ketamine is typically well tolerated by the majority of treated patients. We are not aware of any significant reactions at the low doses that we prescribe to our patients. At the higher doses used in surgical procedures and operating rooms, ketamine has been reported to cause hallucinations, among other cognitive distortions.

Use of ketamine is not recommended for those with conditions such as unstable heart disease, which risks aggravating or intensifying such conditions. Your ketamine specialist will go over medical appropriateness for the use of ketamine in which patients are required to be honest and forthright about any medical conditions.

Why is ketamine commonly referred to as a horse tranquilizer?

Ketamine was originally developed for use on humans and has been safely used for over half a century. Like many other medications used for people, ketamine has also been proven to be useful as a veterinary medicine among warm-blooded animals. The slang term “horse tranquilizer” is more commonly used among recreational abusers. The term is also inaccurate because ketamine is actually an anesthetic, not a tranquilizer. “Horse tranquilizer” is also a smear term used by non-advocates of ketamine who seek to discredit this treatment for chronic pain and depression by making it sound like it’s only suited for animals.

How do you know if you’re a suitable candidate?

The best way to know for sure is to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Ketamine Treatment Resource today. We’ll sit down with you and discuss your history and condition. If you’re resistant to previous treatment, suffer from PTSD, if you’re bipolar, or if you’ve suffered from depression for years, then you might be the right candidate for ketamine infusions.

What is the success rate?

About 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression have experienced a rapid relief of their symptoms after a low-dose ketamine infusion. Patients with PTSD experience similar success rates. Ketamine infusions are designed for the “worst of the worst” cases, patients who have struggled with depression for years, on the verge of self-harm or even suicide. The success rate of ketamine, considering that before ketamine therapy there was no other way to significantly improve intense clinical depression, is astonishing.

How does it work?

Ketamine works in a different way than other antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications like benzos, SSRIs, MOAI inhibitors, and tricyclics. Ketamine is carefully administered and, to put it simply, triggers a cascading sequence of events in your brain that results in the regrowth of neurons that previously died off.

Researchers theorize that intense, prolonged exposure to stress is the cause of these neurons dying off, which results in depression. Ketamine will cause these neurons to regrow within hours, relieving your depression symptoms.

Do I need to be hospitalized during treatment?

Not at all. Ketamine infusions for depression are outpatient procedures that require no hospital admission. You can get your infusions and resume your normal activities.

How long does a ketamine infusion take?

Most ketamine infusions will only take about an hour to administer. After this we will keep you for another half hour to monitor before your discharge.

How much does an infusion cost?

The cost for each infusion is around $500, depending on the dosage. Infusions can be reimbursed under certain health insurance policies and providers, depending on your coverage.

How long will treatment last?

Ketamine generally starts to take effect within an hour or longer. Some patients might not notice an improvement until after their second infusion. These first two infusions will be 48-96 hours apart, to monitor ketamine’s effectiveness for your individual case. If the ketamine is having a positive effect, then we will recommend you take an additional four infusions over the next couple of weeks in order to maximize your brain’s regenerative abilities and regrowth of neurons.

Do I have to do this for the rest of my life?

Absolutely not. Some patients will achieve long-term relief of symptoms after just one series of infusions. Others will find that periodic infusions will generally make it easier to maintain a good balance. Periodic follow-up “booster” infusions may be beneficial on an as-needed basis, but generally, ketamine infusions are used to enhance the impact of anti-depressants, oral medicines, therapies, and lifestyle alterations. The idea is to promote long-term neuron regrowth that is sustainable and lasting without the need for additional infusions.