Ketamine was first used (and still is) as general anesthetic agent. It has been approved to used in the hospitals for the past five decades and has a proven record of safety. Recently, it is being used to treat depression (also PTSD and neuropathic pain) via an IV injection of small doses of ketamine.
Ketamine works by quickly increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the frontal cortex of the brain which allows new synapses to form in the same area. The speediness of ketamine in producing an antidepressant effect occurs because this drug bypasses the traditional serotonin route and goes directly to activating glutamate. This is very different from traditional antidepressants, which first increase the activity of serotonin in multiple different areas of the brain, and then ultimately affect glutamate. This process usually takes two to four weeks to take effect, while ketamine yields an almost immediate effect.
Am I a good candidate?
If you suffer from depression and have not had relief with prescription medication or other traditional treatment modalities, then Ketamine Infusion Therapy may be an option for you. The procedure is easy to administer and essentially pain free.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy can be tremendously beneficial for people with serious illness but just like other medical therapy or procedure there are some individuals with specific medical conditions who would not be appropriate candidate for this type of therapy. The conditions, which would represent a “contra-indication” to ketamine therapy, include anyone with a known:
- Hypersensitivity to Ketamine
- Recent heart attack (less than 6 months ago)
- Recent stroke (less than a year ago)
Prior to arranging for treatment, we would like to speak with you and discuss your current medical issues and medications. You should not adjust your dose or frequency of use of any prescribed medication without first consulting with your prescribing physician.
You will need to have someone who can drive you home after the infusion. However, they do not have to stay with you during the infusion. It is highly recommended you to not drive a vehicle, operate heavy/dangerous machinery, sign any contracts, or partake in other potentially risky activities until the following morning.
You cannot eat solid food for 6 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. However, you may have clear liquids such as water, clear broth, apple juice or clear tea/coffee (no milk or leaves) up to 2 hours before your appointment.