Whether you’re starting Ketamist treatment for the first time or are already in treatment, it is normal to have some anxiety and questions before your first visit.
Ketamist treatment requires commitment, both in terms of the time you offer to your treatments and the money you spend on them, so it makes sense that you want to make sure it’s right for you before undergoing treatment.
What is a Ketamine?
Ketamine is a drug used for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It has also been used to sedate people before general anesthesia surgeries.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ketamine as an anesthetic in 1970, and it has been used safely in this way for decades. In recent years, it has been approved as a treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On March 5, 2019, the FDA approved the first new medication for major depression in decades. The drug is a nasal spray called esketamine, derived from ketamine—an anesthetic that has made waves for its surprising antidepressant effect.
How is Ketamist(™) different from other Ketamine therapy in treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD?
Ketamine is a prescription medication used to treat pain and is a part of ongoing studies as a treatment for depression and anxiety. However, unlike talk therapy or traditional medicines in psychiatry, ketamine does not require months or years of treatment to achieve results. Instead, it works rapidly to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Ketamist treatment is different from other medications when treating these conditions because it acts on various neurotransmitters than most other antidepressants. For example, SSRIs (Prozac) increase serotonin levels in the brain. Ketamine acts on glutamate receptors instead, which are known to be related to depression and anxiety.
Ketamine works quickly — within minutes — but its initial effects of one treatment only last 24 – 48 hours. It’s also effective for treating suicidal thoughts and has been used in emergency settings to treat depression when other drugs haven’t worked.
Who is a candidate for Ketamist treatment?
Ketamine is a safe, effective, and well-researched treatment used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. If you suffer from one of these conditions, you may be a candidate for Ketamist treatment.
Before the Treatment
Preparation for Ketamist Treatment
Before you begin the treatment, it is important to make sure that you are prepared and ready. It includes knowing what to expect, preparing, and having the right support network.
To prepare for the treatment, we recommend that you take the following steps:
- Wear comfortable and loose clothing
- Come to the appointment in a good state (non-stressed)
- Arrange to have a ride after since you can’t drive after the treatment
During the Treatment
Process of Ketamist Treatment
A medical professional provides Ketamist treatment under the supervision of a licensed physician. The Ketamist treatment process may vary but typically includes the following:
- Schedule a consultation
If you are considering ketamist treatment for your depression, scheduling an initial consultation with a licensed psychiatrist is essential. During this appointment, they will discuss your medical history in detail and determine whether ketamine therapy is right for you.
- Treatment Starts
A doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse provides ketamist treatment. The first step is to take your blood pressure, weight and reconfirm medical history because the dosage depends on your physical condition, weight, age, and other prescribed medications.
You will be monitored throughout the procedure, as Ketamine can cause blood pressure and heart rate changes. Your doctor will check your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing during the first treatment and one hour after you have completed treatment. They will also ask you questions about how you feel while you’re under the influence of Ketamine.
- End of the Treatment
After the treatment, you may be given medications to help keep you comfortable while you relax for the next hour. These include:
- Pain medications such as hydromorphone (brand name Dilaudid) if needed.
- Medications to reduce nausea such as Compazine (prochlorperazine) or Zofran (ondansetron)
If this is your first time taking ketamine, it may take several hours before its effects wear off completely. You must wait at least one hour after your session and receive a ride home.
What does it feel like during Ketamist treatment?
At first, it usually takes 5-10 minutes to feel the effects of Ketamist, unlike other forms of ketamine therapy. The dosage is pre-measured, and you can control and adjust the intake during your treatment session.
Most common experiences on ketamine include:
- Deep relaxation
- Feeling happy or elated
- Boost your senses
- Assessing memories or trauma
How long do treatments last?
Ketamine is a short-acting medication used to treat pain and lasts for a few hours. Ketamist treatments last 30 minutes to an hour, and the length of time can vary depending on the dose and your body’s response. After a complete treatment over several weeks, the benefits can last for weeks or months, reducing the need for antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications..
After the Treatment
What to expect after the treatment?
After your Ketamist treatment, you may feel a little groggy and want to take a nap. You may also experience mild side effects, such as dizziness and nausea. These symptoms will go away within 24 hours. If any of these symptoms persist, contact your doctor right away.
Ketamine is generally safe, but like all medications, it can cause side effects in some people. Usually, these side effects are mild and temporary, lasting only a few hours after the treatment session. The most common side effects include:
- Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
- Nausea or vomiting
- Drowsiness or sleepiness (these should subside within 24 hours)
Ketamist (™) is an effective way to treat depression when administered by a doctor specializing in psychiatry or pain management.
It is also important to note that the experience of Ketamist will vary from person to person, and other factors (both internal and external) will influence the nature and intensity of the experience.
Ketamine works by blocking the NMDA receptor, one of the primary receptors involved in memory formation. This medication can prevent the formation of memories that might cause negative thoughts and emotions, such as fear or anxiety.
Many patients have significantly reduced or slowly discontinued the need for anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants while maintaining care and regular appointments with their psychiatrist. Over time, Ketamine is a powerful drug that works on the brain differently from conventional antidepressants. It is also very effective for some people but not everyone, and it does not work immediately, so it will not directly replace other medications after one treatment.
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug, and when used in the treatment of depression, it can result in the following temporary side effects:
– Nausea and vomiting
– Sweating, dizziness, and confusion
– Low blood pressure (hypotension)
– Increased heart rate (tachycardia) and palpitations
– Insomnia or drowsiness
– Hallucinations or paranoia
Ketamine treatment is administered via IV. Ketamist(™) does not involve an IV or inhaler. The patient controls by self-administering the pre-measured doses while under the supervision of a medical doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner.
Ketamine can interact with other drugs, including over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements. Most interactions can be related to how the drug affects the body’s metabolism; therefore, share this information with your practitioner before you begin treatment.