FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have questions about ketamine for depression or chronic pain, read through our frequently asked questions below and get answers to many common questions.
Are ketamine infusions safe?
Ketamine was FDA approved as a dissociative anesthetic and analgesic in the 1960s. It was used in the operating room, on the battlefield, and in many other situations, and is listed on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. In the right hands, ketamine is very safe. It is highly effective at treating depression, even in cases where traditional medications or therapies fail to alleviate symptoms. When used as an antidepressant, it is administered in doses much too low to induce anesthesia. Ketamine infusions are safe when administered and monitored by an experienced anesthesiologist, physician or nurse practitioner in a clinical setting.
How Are Ketamine Infusions Administered?
The most effective route of administration for ketamine for depression is via an IV infusion. When administered via infusion, 100% of the ketamine reaches the brain in a slow, controlled, calculated and predictable way. There are other ways to administer ketamine for depression—intranasally, intramuscularly, orally or sublingually—however these routes are much less predictable and are rarely practiced by credible ketamine clinics. Furthermore, the studies that have been done to support the use of ketamine for depression have all been performed using IV ketamine infusions.
What Should I Expect During my First Ketamine Infusion?
If we determine that you are a candidate for ketamine infusions, we will ask you to submit your patient intake forms—some of which will require a signature from a physician or mental healthcare provider. Once we receive your intake forms, we will schedule your initial consultation. At your consultation, we will review your symptoms and current medications, address your concerns and prepare you for your first ketamine infusion.
On the day of your infusion, do not eat solid foods, soup or pulpy juices for six hours prior to your appointment. Refrain from enjoying any foods or liquids within 2-hours of your infusion. Please arrive at our Chico ketamine clinic 15-minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. Once you are comfortably settled into one of our soothing, comfortable treatment rooms, we will apply monitors for your heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and oxygen levels. We will place your IV and begin the infusion. Ketamine infusions for depression last 40-45 minutes, while ketamine infusions for chronic pain management are longer—up to 4-hours depending on your condition.
During your infusion, you may experience some mild side effects: dizziness or non-threatening hallucinations are possible. If you experience any nausea, we are equipped to supplement your infusion with an anti-nausea medication. You will remain awake and alert during your infusion—you may want to relax, unwind and listen to music during your appointment.
After your infusion, we will monitor you for 30-minutes before releasing you into the care of a family member or friend. Most side effects wear off after about 2-hours, but we ask that you please not drive or operate heavy machinery for 24-hours post-infusion.
Is Ketamine a Recreational Drug?
Like many very helpful medications, ketamine can be abused in a recreational setting. However, contrary to popular belief, ketamine is not a physically addictive substance. When used as a depression treatment or pain management solution, ketamine is administered in doses much smaller than those used for recreational purposes. Ketamine is used safely every day for a variety of medical needs, however, our Chico ketamine clinic understands the importance of preventing ketamine from being misused or making it into the wrong hands. We only administer ketamine in a clinical setting and do not send our patients home with prescriptions for ketamine.
Will ketamine work for me?
Studies show that ketamine effectively alleviates depressive symptoms in upwards of 70% of patients. This is a remarkable number, especially considering that traditional antidepressants have, at best, a 40% success rate. However, the results of ketamine infusions manifest differently in every patient: some patients may feel an immediate shift in their outlook and attitude, while other patients may feel the fog of depression lift gradually. While we cannot say that ketamine will or will not work to treat your depression, we can say that it has a very high success rate and has saved thousands of lives since it became available as a depression treatment.
How Many Ketamine Infusions Will I Need?
Studies have shown that ketamine infusions are most effective when administered serially over the course of two weeks. We recommend 4-6 infusions over the course of two weeks, with maintenance infusions as needed on an ongoing basis to keep your symptoms at bay. Maintenance will be different for every individual—some may need infusions monthly, while others may be able to go six months or more between infusions.
Should I Stop Taking Antidepressants or Other Medications?
You should never discontinue use of any medication without your physician’s explicit approval first. At your initial consultation, we will review your current medication list and determine if there any contraindications between your medications and the ketamine.
What is the Risk of Ketamine Addiction?
Ketamine is not a physically addicting drug. When abused as a recreational drug, it can become psychologically addicting. When administered for depression, it is used in doses much smaller than those used in a recreational setting. Our Chico ketamine clinic is largely aware of the importance in keeping ketamine in the right hands in order to prevent addiction and abuse. We only administer ketamine in a clinical setting, under close supervision. We do not provide prescriptions for ketamine, nor do we send patients home with ketamine.
Contact Kismet Ketamine Clinic
Kismet Ketamine Clinic is happy to offer a free consultation to all new patients interested in learning more about ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions. Just complete the brief form below and a member of our team will contact you to answer your questions, address your concerns, and point you in the direction of your healthiest destiny.
4600 Sherwood Common Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70816