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Ketamine FAQs

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Ketamine has been shown to stimulate neuron growth in the brain in as quickly as one hour.  Many scientists studying ketamine are focusing on the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays an important role in neural activation.

The National Institute of Mental Health has studied ketamine’s effect on depression for more than fifteen years. There is scholarly research behind this treatment, which means controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies at major institutions.

Researchers at Yale pioneered this research nearly 20 years ago and published the first major study in 2000. Since then, countless more ketamine studies have been conducted at Yale and other major institutions, including NIH, The VA, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mt. Sinai Medical School, Oxford University, and many more worldwide.

More than 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression (including bipolar disorder patients) experience rapid relief after a low-dose ketamine infusion. Similar success rates have been seen in returning combat veterans who have PTSD.

 

These patients’ cases are the worst, lasting years or even decades, and have not responded to any other treatments. Many have hovered on the verge of suicide for years, many have attempted suicide, and all have endured a very poor quality of life. Before ketamine therapy, there was virtually no way to improve the condition of patients like these substantially.

 

The fact that ketamine works rapidly on more than 70% of them is astonishing, and its discovery has profoundly changed depression research and our understanding of the very nature of depression. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the degree of relief can vary among patients.

 

Some sufferers get only partial relief, some do not get relief until completion of the infusion series, and some do not respond to ketamine at all. Some patients have additional medical conditions and take outside prescribed medications that can reduce their effectiveness.

You will be awake. The ketamine infusion dosage is not high enough to cause you to fall asleep, but you may feel a bit drowsy during and shortly after the treatment.

There are medications and drugs, both legal and illicit, that will reduce the effectiveness of ketamine. Please be sure to inform us of all of the medications and supplements you take. We will work with your prescribing provider in coordinating your care.

The length of treatment can vary a great deal between patients. Most patients respond to ketamine within their initiation series. This means relief from the physical symptoms that make depression/anxiety/PTSD/pain unbearable: anhedonia, physical fatigue, dysphoria, cognitive impairment, insomnia, etc.

 

But there’s more to it than that. When the physical symptoms are relieved, that can also trigger a dramatic improvement in mood. It can help patients feel healthy, function normally, and stop feeling negative about themselves, sometimes for the first time in decades.

 

Even if the physical symptoms begin to return, many patients find they can withstand them with more resilience than before, instead of retreating to the fetal position each time new stress or obstacle arises. This improvement in mood and function can last longer than the physical symptom relief.

The most commonly- reported side effects include mild nausea, drowsiness, and a temporary increase in blood pressure. The Wellness Drip staff will closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate throughout the infusion.

 

During the treatment, you will experience something called a dissociative effect. Most patients describe the experience with words like relaxing, floating, and pleasant. This “dream-like” state feeling quickly subsides after the treatment is over, allowing you to leave with your driver after your appointment is complete.

Ketamine is typically well-tolerated, and we are not aware of any significant adverse reactions at the low dose used for this treatment. At the higher doses used in operating rooms, ketamine has been known to cause hallucinations and other cognitive distortions. The use of ketamine by people with conditions such as unstable heart disease risks aggravating these conditions. It is of utmost importance that you fill out the medical questionnaire fully and truthfully, so we can properly evaluate whether you are medically appropriate for the treatment.

 

It is very safe when ketamine is administered in a controlled medical setting by a properly trained provider using established methods. Ketamine is the only anesthetic that does not suppress the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It can elevate heart rate and blood pressure, so the patient’s vitals must be monitored during treatment.

 

Using illegally-obtained ketamine on your own, without a doctor’s supervision, is a different matter. There’s no assurance the substance you’re taking is ketamine at all or that it hasn’t been mixed with other substances.

 

And since ketamine is an anesthetic capable of sedating patients during significant surgery, you can seriously injure yourself while under its influence if you are not in a controlled medical setting. If you are contemplating taking “street” ketamine in hopes of relieving your depression, keep in mind that the antidepressant effect depends on it being administered in an exact, controlled way that you cannot achieve in a recreational setting.

Most insurance companies do not reimburse for ketamine therapy. However, here at The Wellness Drip, we offer multiple payment options to make this treatment available to everyone.

 

We can also provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance for possible reimbursement.

We do not. At The Wellness Drip, we commit ourselves to a maximum quality of patient care and results, and we have found IV ketamine infusion to be the gold standard at our clinic.

The Wellness Drip recommends ketamine infusions due to the abundance of research demonstrating the effectiveness in managing the symptoms of depression, suicidal ideations, anxiety, trauma, or pain syndromes as there is a lack of lasting or substantial benefits in the administration of ketamine via the intramuscular route.

The Wellness Drip allows your doctor to quite easily, and with much attention to privacy, refer you for consultation. Should you receive treatment, we will communicate with your existing provider(s) regarding your care.

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