Ketamine IV Therapy is a safe and effective treatment to help with several conditions including, but not limited to:
- Mental Health
- Depression and Anxiety
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Memory and Cognitive Issue
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Mood Disorders
- Substance Abuse Treatment
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a medication that was developed in the 1960’s and approved by the FDA in 1970 for use as a general anesthetic. Ketamine is recognized as one the safest, most widely used anesthetic in the world has been used on both humans and animals for over 50 years.
What is Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine Therapy is a medical therapy used to treat some psychiatric conditions as well as enhance cognition and memory. Ketamine is given in doses much lower than when it is used as an anesthetic and is administered very slowly through an intravenous (IV) infusion. This type of ketamine treatment does not induce general anesthesia. Click here for more in-depth information about the use of Ketamine for mental health.
How is Ketamine different from my antidepressants?
Unlike traditional antidepressants that target the brain’s serotonin and noradrenaline systems, ketamine appears to block a receptor called NMDA, which is activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate. Because ketamine works on receptors and not on shifting hormone balances, the effects are dramatically faster. While traditional antidepressants can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to start taking effect, ketamine starts to work almost immediately, sometimes within minutes, without the notorious side effects of psychiatric medications.
Ketamine is very well researched. There have been more than 50 clinical trials in the United States alone studying the use of ketamine for depression. Ketamine has remarkably fast antidepressant effects and has been used for treatment-resistant depression, especially in those patients with active and severe suicidal thoughts. Ketamine has shown reduction in depression and suicidal thoughts in as little as 40 minutes.
As many as 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression (including bipolar patients) experience rapid relief after a low-dose ketamine infusion. Similar success rates have been seen in returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the degree of relief can vary among patients. Some sufferers get only partial relief, some do not get relief until a second or third infusion, and some do not respond to ketamine at all. Those patients that get no relief likely have additional medical conditions or medication use that can reduce its effectiveness.
A study published in the journal Science in 2010 suggested that ketamine restores brain function through a process called synaptogenesis. Scientists at Yale University found that ketamine not only improved depression-like behavior in rats but also promoted the growth of new synaptic connections between neurons and synapses in the brain. This means that we can create new connections in the brain and speed up the way the brain sends messages improving both focus and memory while potentially protecting the brain from neurologic disease.
Most of this research has involved adults with depression. Globally, it is estimated that depression affects 350 million people. Yet over the past 50 years, drugs to treat depression have not radically changed. This is despite the fact that for around a third of patients, these drugs do not work. This is what makes the prospect of using Ketamine so ground breaking for medical providers.
One of the more exciting and developing uses of Ketamine is for cognitive enhancement, which includes both memory and focus. Ketamine is being considered a nootropic (brain enhancer) therapy that could directly improve brain function through several mechanisms and is being heavily studied for this role.
How Soon Can I Expect to Feel Results?
As many as 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression (including bipolar patients) experience rapid relief after a low-dose ketamine infusion. Similar success rates have been seen in returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the degree of relief and how quickly you feel the benefits can vary among patients. Some sufferers get only partial relief, some do not get relief until a second or third infusion, and a very small percentage do not respond to ketamine at all. Those patients that get no relief likely have additional medical conditions or medication use that can reduce its effectiveness.
Prior to starting Ketamine Therapy
Before receiving Ketamine Therapy, we will perform a careful evaluation of your health to make sure that ketamine is a safe and a reasonable option. The doctor may also recommend some changes in the medications you are taking to make sure they do not interfere with Ketamine Therapy or make Ketamine Therapy less safe or effective. At this time you and your family should voice any questions or concerns so you are confident with the decision to receive Ketamine Therapy. Once you fully understand the risk and benefits of Ketamine Therapy and have made a decision, each participant must sign a consent form prior to starting Ketamine Therapy
How is Ketamine Therapy administrated?
Ketamine Therapy is typically given as a series of intravenous (IV) treatments. The number of treatments is based on individual needs. Once the program is determined, a member of our team will insert an intravenous (IV) catheter into the hand or arm to allow for the administration of the ketamine. Depending on your health status, you may give other medications for nausea or other symptoms. Your vital signs, including blood pressure and pulse, will be checked prior to and during the treatment.
Each IV treatment usually lasts between 40-60 minutes. After the treatment ends, you will be monitored by a member of the treatment team for about 30 minutes to allow most of the medication’s effect to dissipate.
How many treatments are needed?
For depression, PTSD and General Anxiety Disorder, Ketamine is typically delivered in a package of ten. The first five treatments may be given every other day or weekly depending each person’s unique needs, followed by one treatment every 10-14 days for the following 5 therapies.
For mind and cognitive enhancement, treatments are weekly for 4 weeks and then monthly. All therapy duration may vary depending on the outcome of the initial intake and medical evaluation.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have demonstrated that regular frequent treatments of ketamine (giving weekly to monthly infusions) to patients with treatment-resistant depression (relapsing after initial treatment) can extend the duration of depressive symptom remission.
Expectations for Ketamine Therapy
It is very important to understand the goals of Ketamine Therapy and what to expect when receiving a ketamine IV. Ketamine can be delivered in different doses and different settings depending on the clinic and physician administering the therapy. These differences can have a large impact on the experience and effectiveness of the treatment.
Thrive Wellness Ketamine Protocol
Dr. Chami has been utilizing Ketamine for several years and has developed protocols that deliver the best therapeutic outcomes. The dosage of Ketamine that is needed to achieve desired effects also initiates the sensation of lightness or floating, dizziness, and mild euphoria – you are physically relaxed, but your mind is fully engaged. For this reason we place each patient in comfortable beds in a dark, quiet room. We apply a soft eye mask along with noise canceling headphones that stream pleasant music throughout the entirety of the IV therapy.
How do I get started?
Each patient is required to have an initial consultation with Dr. Chami. During this consultation, he will discuss your symptoms, your goals, and your expectations. He will also go through your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for IV Ketamine Therapy.