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Ketamine Infusion Treatments


Ketamine Infusion Treatments


Everything you need to know about Ketamine Infusion Treatments

Here is everything you need to know about Ketamine, Ketamine infusion treatments, and how it can relieve your depression.

  • What is ketamine?

    Ketamine, a derivative of phencyclidine, is an anesthetic drug that was developed in 1962 and has been widely used in a variety of settings. Ketamine acts as an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and targets glutamate, which is an excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter. 

    Ketamine has been used to induce and maintain general anesthesia for more than 30 years and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Ketamine is a commonly utilized anesthetic and has a remarkably safe track record in clinical settings. Ketamine is commonly used to treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), sometimes referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). 

    Over the past two decades, researchers have consistently found that low doses of ketamine, administered intravenously (ketamine infusions), produce a rapid anti-depressant effect.

  • Isn’t ketamine used to treat pain?

    Ketamine is used to treat various chronic pain syndromes, especially those that have a neuropathic component, such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).

  • How does ketamine relieve depression?

    Scientists are still exploring the exact mechanism by which depression is relieved, but research suggests that by blocking the NMDA receptors, ketamine prompts the brain to increase the production of synaptic signalling proteins in the prefrontal cortex.

    The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain thought to play a critical role in a person’s ability to regulate his/her mood.

    Ketamine appears to promote the growth of new synapses in the prefrontal cortex, resulting in greater connectivity in the brain, while also switching certain connections on and off. This cascade of events is thought to be the reason for the rapid anti-depressant effect.

  • What is the Ketamine Infusion Therapy Experience Like? 

    Imagine entering a space that feels more like a spa than a medical clinic. Soft, ambient lighting illuminates the room, casting a gentle glow that immediately puts you at ease. The sounds around you are serene, possibly the soothing tones of Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Airports.’ You’re not in a stiff hospital gown; instead, you’re wrapped in your favorite comfortable clothes, cocooned in a plush blanket that provides warmth and comfort.

    As you settle in, the infusion begins. This is not a procedure filled with anxiety and cold detachment. Rather, it’s a deeply personalized and caring experience. You may choose to close your eyes, allowing yourself to drift into a state of relaxation. You remain aware of your surroundings but feel a profound sense of calm. Every ten minutes, you’ll hear the soft hum of the vitals monitor as the cuff gently tightens around your arm, a reassuring reminder that your well-being is being closely monitored.

    Throughout the process, a nurse periodically checks in, softly asking how you are feeling and ensuring your vital signs remain stable. You might enter a dreamlike state, or you might simply feel incredibly relaxed. The entire experience is designed to be as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Once the infusion is complete, your IV is removed, and you rest quietly under observation for at least 30 minutes before discharge. This ensures you are fully recovered and ready to leave the clinic safely.

  • How long does it last?

    The duration of symptomatic relief patients experience following ketamine infusion therapy varies greatly.

    Patients who have received ketamine infusion therapy for depression have reported significant improvements in their mood and abilities to function anywhere from days to weeks.

    When patients do experience such relief, it may be the first time in decades that they have felt healthy and ‘normal’.

  • Why haven’t I heard of this before?

    You haven’t heard of ketamine for the treatment of refractory depression because the practice of using ketamine to treat depression is in its infancy. Ketamine is most commonly known as a general anesthetic, used in surgical procedures. You may know of ketamine as a rave drug, used recreationally since the 1980s. The utilization of ketamine to treat depression is not yet FDA-approved, as the FDA approval process can take many years, due to the amount of funding, research and time required. Fortunately, the research being conducted continues to demonstrate that ketamine is effective in treating depression, and the use of ketamine in this population is becoming increasingly common.

    * NOTE: Ketamine IS an FDA-approved drug for anesthetic purposes and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications.

  • Is Ketamine safe?

    When ketamine is administered in a controlled medical setting by a properly trained and licensed clinician using established methods, it is very safe.

    Ketamine is the only anesthetic that does not suppress the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

    When used recreationally, or outside of a controlled medical setting, ketamine use can have very serious adverse effects.

  • What are the side effects of ketamine treatment?

    Most recent research shows that some possible, short-term side effects may include headache, anxiety, dissociation, nausea, and dizziness.

  • Is Ketamine legal?

    Yes, this is legal.

    Ketamine treatment is an intravenous infusion procedure performed in a specially-equipped medical office and under the direction of an M.D.

  • What is the difference between SPRAVATO™ and Ketamine?

    With the success of ketamine seen across the nation the creation of an FDA approved treatment was inevitable. In 2019 a nasal spray, Esketamine also known as Spravato was approved for the treatment of TRD.

    With the addition of this new medications patients now have the option to utilize either ketamine or esketamine treatments for their depression.

    The question now, which treatment is right for me?

    Disclaimer: As of September 29, 2023, NeuroMend no longer offers Spravato treatments. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage you to consult with our team or your healthcare provider for alternative options.

    Learn More

  • Is this treatment covered by insurance?

    No, not yet.

    NeuroMend accepts payments via money order or credit card. Patient financing is also available through CareCredit.

    More information about CareCredit financing options is available on our financing page.

  • What treatment is best for you, Ketamine, or ECT?

    When many physicians or patients hear about or experience treatment-resistant depression (TRD), they think about resorting to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).

    But what more and more patients and clinicians are coming to discover is that Ketamine infusions are showing many promising results as the go-to therapy to treatment-resistant depression.

    Learn more about Ketamine infusions to improve or treat your depressive symptoms.

    Learn More: ECT vs Ketamine

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