What Is Ketamine?
Many people have heard of ketamine as an animal anesthetic or as a club drug. What most have not heard about this drug is the extensive studies about its rapid impact on depression and anxiety. The dosing of ketamine is critical. When used for treatment it is given in 1/10 to 1/20th the dose for anesthesia and is given slowly over 40 minutes rather than over 1 to 10 seconds.
A meta-analysis by the American Psychiatric Association using data from multiple ketamine trials reported 70% of treatment-resistant patients responding positively after receiving the initial round of low-dose infusions.
Occasionally patients experience some nausea following an infusion. If so, we have medication that will help. More rarely, a patient may experience a transient headache. Patients can expect to be tired following the infusion. Very, very rarely patients already at risk for seizure have reportedly experienced one. If you have a seizure disorder please be sure to share that information prior to your therapy.
Some patients will begin to feel better within hours of the first infusion. Suicidal thoughts are often reduced rather rapidly. There can be a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness. Other patients may not notice any mood improvement until the next day. Some patients will require a second (or even a third) infusion before feeling better.
That will depend on your response. Most responsive patients receive a series of six infusions over two weeks, although some may require more. Divine Wellness will work with you to customize your treatment plan for the best chance of success.
Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclics) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop them. Patients taking large doses of benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax and Klonipin) will have a reduced response to ketamine, but taking these medicines does not mean that ketamine cannot help you. Lamictal in doses over 100mg/day will blunt the ketamine response. Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.
Probably not. Some patients seem to achieve long-term relief after a series of infusions. Unlike other clinics who push every other week or once a month repeat ketamine treatments, we personalize our approach and offer repeat ketamine only if and when it is needed and we actively explore with you other alternatives to repeat ketamine which may be more helpful than simply continuing in ketamine use.
Hypomania has not been reported following ketamine therapy.