What is Ketamine?
What should I expect during a ketamine treatment?
Our nurse will start an IV in your arm and give you an amount of ketamine determined by Dr. Fleming based on your body weight. This is not enough to put you to sleep and you will remain awake. Most people feel a pleasant floating sensation but others feel something odd like an “out of body experience.” This experience will likely be somewhat different for you during each of the sessions. It is the whole series of sessions that lead to improvement, not the experience during the session. Once the 40 minute infusion is complete, the immediate effects of ketamine end rather rapidly. There are not usually any delayed “flashbacks” and patients are usually able to travel with 15 to 30 minutes following the end of the IV infusion session. Please remember you may not drive even if you do feel normal after therapy.
Each ketamine treatment session lasts about 40 minutes in a comfortable treatment room accompanied by a skilled RN who will monitor your condition and help you throughout the treatment. Please be sure you fill out and bring the forms on the Forms page to your first session.
Please do not eat during the last four hours before your ketamine treatment. Also, continue to drink fluids and hydrate yourself up til one hour before your treatment.
What most have not heard about ketamine 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 with Dr. Fleming 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. Dr. Fleming will work with you to customize your treatment plan for the best chance of success.
These are very few. Your Neuragain provider will discuss contraindications with you before you receive your first infusion.
Antidepressant 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.