Ketamine has traditionally been used in surgery, but has a new use in psychiatry for treatment-resistant depression. When used in low doses, ketamine produces a rapid decrease in depression and suicidal ideation within 24 hours. Not everyone will respond to ketamine, but most will. Studies show more than 70% of people had a reduction in depression after receiving ketamine.
Ketamine is given as an IV infusion or intramuscular injection in doses much smaller than when used as anesthesia for surgery. One infusion of ketamine can result in a resolution of depression, immediately or within a few hours, and can last up to a week. Research has shown this anti-depressant effect can be lengthened if ketamine is administered in a series.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is ketamine treatment right for me?
Ketamine has been found to be useful for patients who have not experienced full relief of depression from traditional antidepressant medication. Prior to being scheduled for Ketamine, your provider will give you a full psychiatric evaluation and request lab work to determine if you qualify for ketamine treatment.
What should I expect the day of my treatment?
You will be monitored very closely during your ketamine treatment. This will include blood pressure, pulse measurements, and some psychological measurements before and after your session. Ketamine can cause nausea so it is best to come on an empty stomach. Food should be avoided 6 hours prior to treatment.
A low dose of ketamine will be administered via IV infusion or IM injection. The treatment will last about 45 min. We encourage you to wear eye shades, listen to relaxing music, and focus inward during this time.
Ketamine's side effects wear off quite quickly; you will be able to return home about 20-30 minutes after treatment is complete. Patients are required to have another person drive them home. You should not drive for up to 6 hours following your ketamine treatment.
What are the side effects?
During treatment, patients experience an altered mental state, feeling disconnected or in a dreamlike state. Some may experience a slight elevation in blood pressure, confusion, blurred vision, slurred speech, nausea, and vomiting. Most of these side effects usually subside shortly after the infusion.
Will my insurance cover ketamine infusions?
Unfortunately, insurance does not currently cover ketamine infusions. However, we do offer ketamine-based treatment options on a self-pay basis. Payment is required prior to these treatments. For more information regarding treatment costs and ketamine infusion services, please contact our office at (801) 369-8989.