Ketamine infusions have become increasingly popular as a treatment option for a variety of conditions. While ketamine is traditionally used as an anesthetic, its use in low doses has shown promise in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mood disorders. In this blog, we’ll explore what ketamine infusions are, how they work, and what conditions they can be used to treat.
What are Ketamine Infusions?
Ketamine infusions involve the administration of a low dose of ketamine through an IV. The infusion is typically done over the course of 40 minutes to one hour, depending on the specific protocol being used. Patients are closely monitored during the infusion to ensure their safety and comfort.
Ketamine infusions are normally administered in two phases: an induction phase and a maintenance phase. During the induction phase, patients receive an average of 6 to 8 infusions, administered over two to three weeks to achieve the desired clinical effect.
After the induction phase is complete, patients may then enter the maintenance phase. This involves receiving occasional infusions every few weeks or months to maintain symptom remission.
How do Ketamine Infusions Work?
The exact mechanism of how ketamine works is not fully understood. However, it is thought to work by modulating certain receptors in the brain that are involved in emotional and mood regulation. Ketamine has primarily been shown to interact with NMDA receptors, which are thought to play a role in depression and other mood disorders.
By modulating these receptors, ketamine triggers a cascade of events that help restore brain chemistry balance and re-establish healthy electrical signaling. The result is a rapid and often sustained reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions
Many patients report feeling better within hours of their first infusion, and the effects can last for several days to several weeks or months. Despite being highly effective, ketamine infusions are mainly used off-label and are often reserved for treatment-resistant conditions.
Conditions that Ketamine Infusions Can Help Manage
Ketamine infusions have been shown to be effective in managing a variety of conditions, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Suicidal ideation
Are Ketamine Infusions Safe?
Ketamine infusions are generally safe and well tolerated when administered by a trained healthcare provider in a medical setting. However, as with any medication, there are some potential side effects involved.
The most common but short-lived side effects of ketamine infusions include dizziness, nausea, confusion, and headache. Some patients may also experience dissociation or hallucinations during the infusion, although these effects typically subside after the infusion is complete.
In rare cases, ketamine infusions may cause more acute side effects, such as high blood pressure. For this reason, patients are closely monitored during the infusion, and the infusion can be stopped or slowed if necessary to ensure their safety.
Ketamine infusions are an increasingly popular treatment option for a variety of treatment-resistant psychological health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
When used under the supervision of a trained healthcare provider, ketamine infusions can be an effective and safe treatment option for those who have not responded to other treatments. If you are considering undergoing ketamine infusion therapy, it is important to talk with your doctor to determine if it is the right treatment for you.