Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Ketamine infusion therapy was developed in the 1960’s and approved by the FDA in 1970 for anesthesia and sedation during medical procedures. For decades it has been used in operating and emergency rooms. More recently, there is a growing body of evidence to support its use in both mental health and pain conditions.
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Why it Works

We currently believe that the likely mechanism of action for mental health conditions is through its mode of action as a N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist working on glutamate neurotransmitters and increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF promotes the growth, maturation, and maintenance of nerve cells.

These mechanisms are quite different when compared to other psychiatric medications like SSRIs, SNRIs, benzodiazepines, and mood stabilizers. The inhibitory effects on the NMDA receptor also reduce excitatory transmission which reduces neuropathic pain. There is a reduction in the glial cell inflammatory process which some believe can help reduce or stop the advancement of neuropathic pain. Ketamine also binds to mu, kappa, and delta-opioid receptors, but to a much lesser extent than typical pain medications.

Research has shown the possibility of a temporary anti-depressant response to a low dose of Ketamine administered only once. Sustained benefit often requires multiple administrations within three weeks before tapering the frequency. While some patients will continue their oral medications for optimal response, some patients are able to discontinue their typically daily mental health medications. To assist with tolerability and minimizing any discomfort, we utilize Ketamine via intravenous (IV) and intramuscular (IM) options.

Ketamine is a “dissociative” agent and doses that lead to mild dissociations are often needed for ideal results. Reaching a non-ordinary state of consciousness can range from pleasurable and calming to temporarily causing anxiety and recalling negative past events. The initial feelings during this state of being are temporary and do not inhibit the ongoing benefits of Ketamine. Our staff will be present to make your experience as positive as possible.

The Experience

  • RTo obtain optimal results, it can be beneficial to coordinate care with your psychiatrist, counselor, and/or other mental health professionals. We appreciate your assistance in obtaining records and getting the necessary information to stay in touch with the rest of your care team.
  • RYour first appointment will likely be a bit longer than normal as we perform a history and physical examination prior to treatment. Mood questionnaires will be provided between appointments.
  • RWe appreciate you not eating within 4 hours of treatment to minimize the risks of nausea and other complications. Water may be consumed up to 2 hours prior to administration.
  • RPatients may elect for Ketamine administration via IV or IM options. We will happily review the pros and cons of each option. There is no shame in a fear of needles.
  • RDuring the Ketamine treatment, we aim to provide a very calming environment. From recliners to eye masks, we have it all. You may bring in your own headphones with relaxing music or utilize our speakers with preprogrammed playlists. Blankets and pillows are allowed. Feel free to bring a small, comfort item.
  • RThroughout administration, we will monitor your vital signs using minimally noticed equipment.
  • RImmediately following your Ketamine treatment is an excellent time to incorporate psychotherapy. If you are interested, ask us how we can help make this happen for you.
  • RFollowing completion of your Ketamine care, we ask that you not drive or make major life decisions for the remainder of the day. A driver is required to bring you home safely.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Benefits

In addition to the listed conditions in which ketamine treats: Ketamine assisted psychotherapy can allow patients to access non-ordinary states of consciousness to process trauma and repressed memories in a more relaxed state. Reliving past memories can be quite upsetting in normal circumstances. Ketamine can reduce the associated anxiety and allow memory associations that were not readily clear before.

Depending on the patient and response, ketamine can result in being able to discontinue other psychiatric and pain medications.

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Calms your mind

Calms your mind

Reduces pain

Reduces pain

Works quickly

Works quickly

Improves mental health

Improves mental health

Decreases the need

Decreases the need for painkillers

Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy

Counseling or psychotherapy comes in many shapes and sizes. Treatments can include multiple excellent therapeutic modalities to help alleviate psychiatric and pain conditions in the absence of medication. Unfortunately our own mind can get in the way of progression through the avoidance of stressful situations, repressed memories, high anxiety, reliving trauma, or an intense physiological response. Ketamine immediately prior to therapy can create a non-ordinary state of consciousness that can assist in pushing past our therapeutic boundaries to allow for transformational growth.