What is Ketamine treatment and how does it work?
Ketamine has recently been described as the most important breakthrough in the last fifty years for the treatment of depression, anxiety and chronic pain. It has been used safely and effectively in hospitals worldwide since the 1960’s as an FDA approved anesthetic drug. Numerous articles in medical journals in the last few years have shown efficacy in using ketamine in sub-anesthetic doses to treat depression and some chronic pain syndromes.
Yale University School of Medicine published the first scholarly paper more than 18 years ago showing that tiny doses of ketamine can rapidly relieve depression symptoms when delivered via slow intravenous infusion. Since that time, dozens of subsequent studies conducted by Yale, the National Institute of Health, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai Medical School, Oxford University and more have confirmed these original findings.
Doctors and scientists report that their deeply depressed patients treated with ketamine infusions respond within just a few hours. No other drug used for depression has the ability to bring such rapid relief. With infusions administered in sequential fashion, fundamental brain healing can occur.
Ketamine’s effects are mediated in the brain by interactions with the NMDA receptor, a member of the glutamate receptor family. It interacts with other receptors as well, including opioid and dopamine receptors, and at the AMPA receptor, thought to be an important component of its antidepressant effects.
At The Center
Once you arrive to the AKS infusion center you will find a calm and peaceful atmosphere. After your paperwork and questionnaires regarding your current medical issues have been completed and reviewed, you have finished all the work you need to do.
You will be moved to a private room with a reclining chair and the necessary medical equipment for your infusion. One of our qualified specialists will review all of your medical records and briefly examine you to assess your physical condition. All of the necessary monitoring equipment will be attached, and an IV started for your infusion. Every step of the process will be explained along the way and any questions you may have will be answered.
The qualified infusion specialist will be with you at all times during your infusion. You are welcome to bring someone in the room with you if you would like, but the experience is deeply personal and we would ask them not to converse with you unless you initiate the conversation. For this reason, and to minimize distractions we recommend that friends and family wait in our comfortable waiting area during your infusion unless you feel very strongly about them being present with you.
It takes just a few minutes before you feel the effects of the medication once the infusion starts. You may feel very happy and talkative right from the beginning and have great conversations with the doctor, or you may just want to relax and sit quietly. Physically you will feel extremely relaxed, but your mind will be fully engaged. The sensation might seem strange at first, but most describe it as very pleasant.
The infusion lasts 40-60 minutes, and there can be a range of feelings throughout this time. This is normal and one feeling or another does not determine the final result. Each individual treatment is unique. Throughout the whole process one of our qualified infusionists will be right by your side monitoring your safety and to answer any questions. Our goal is that you feel comfortable and relaxed.
After the infusion is completed, you will have some time to adjust. It is common to experience slight dizziness at the end of the treatment, but this usually subsides in about 10 minutes. You will be assisted to the recovery area where you will rest for 30 minutes before being released to go home. You will not be permitted to drive yourself, however, so bring someone who can drive you or prepare ahead of time for a ride home.
The immediate period after an infusion (usually 4-6 hours) you should not drive, operate machinery, or sign legal documents. Most patients feel so relaxed after the infusion that they like to rest quietly for a period of time. After that, your activity is entirely dependent on how you feel.
Ketamine infusion therapy is an alternative form of treatment for PTSD, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Depression, and a host of other mental illnesses and pain management. Numerous studies from Harvard, Yale, and other respectable institutions have begun touting Ketamine’s ability to help those individuals that are resistant to typical treatment.
Psychiatric use of Ketamine has become widespread in recent years after being used for decades as an anesthetic and is now being backed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as an effective treatment for various mental health disorders.