What Can I Expect at an Infusion Visit?

Your safety and wellbeing are our number one concern. Our physicians are board certified by the American Society of Anesthesiology and are ACLS certified. The facility is accredited by AAAASF and fully equipped with all the necessary medical resuscitative equipment. We will monitor you closely throughout your treatment.

We will ask you to fast for 8 hours before your infusion per the American Society of Anesthesiology’s fasting guidelines. Once you have checked in, you will complete a questionnaire to assess your current status. The IV will be started in your hand or your arm using a small catheter. This may feel like a sting from a small bug bite. The Ketamine will be administered through your IV over a period of 40-60 minutes. We will take your vital signs before, during, and after the infusion. After resting for an additional 15-30 minutes after the infusion, you will be discharged home with your driver.

1. What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that has been available since the 1960’s. It is FDA approved for anesthesia and we will be using it “off-label” to treat mood disorders. It can cause a ‘dissociative anesthesia” which induces hypnosis like states as well as unconsciousness. Around 2000, scientists started looking at Ketamine IV infusions carefully when its clinical usefulness was expanded to include a role in the management of mood disorders as well as chronic pain.

2. Why can I not drive the day of the infusion?
Ketamine is a potent anesthetic. As with any anesthetic, we advise our patients to NOT operate any heavy machinery for the remainder of the day due to potential residual effects.

3. What will I feel during the treatment?
Some of the common experiences are: drowsiness and feeling strange or unreal.

4. What are some of the side effects?
During the infusion, your hear trate and blood pressure may increase. Immediately after the infusion, you may experience dizziness, poor coordination, or blurred vision. Most of these symptoms resolve after 30 minutes. A small percentage of our patients experience nausea or a minor headache after the treatment.

5. Are there certain conditions that are contra-indications for Ketamine treatment?
Yes. If you have a history of heart disease, kidney or liver failure, uncontrolled high blood pressure, history of psychosis, history of failed Ketamine infusion treatment, and a few other conditions, you may not qualify for Ketamine infusion treatments.

6. How will I know if I need a booster infusion and how frequently will I require them?
The duration of antidepressant efficacy after the initial treatment is different for everyone. Most of our patients require one maintenance treatment every 4 to 6 weeks. However, there is great variability from person to person and we cannot predict how often you will require a treatment.

7. Is there a guarantee that this will work for me?
Unfortunately, we cannot give guarantees. Studies have shown that 70%-75% of people will obtain efficacy. After the first 4 infusions, we will be able to ascertain whether the infusions will work for you. We will not advise you to continue your treatment after the first 4 infusions if we do not see a certain amount of improvement.

8. Isn’t Ketamine addictive?
Ketamine has the potential to be addictive. The doses administered during our infusions are extremely low and considered to be “sub-anesthetic”. In addition, the frequency of the maintenance treatments is low. While there are no long-term studies regarding repeated Ketamine treatments for depression, we have been offering this treatment for over 3 years and have not seen any dependence like behavior.

9. Do I have to continue my current treatments for depression?
Yes. It is imperative that you alert your mental health care provider that you are undergoing these treatments and that you maintain your current regimen. It can be dangerous to stop taking your medications without the care of a physician. Our patients have a brighter outlook and a positive drive after their treatment that has allowed them to have higher success rates with psychotherapy. We will be happy to work with your current health care provider to provide the optimal outcome.


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