IV ketamine treatments are an office-based, outpatient procedure. Currently at MHS, we have ketamine infusion therapy in San Francisco and Oakland, CA. The infusion lasts 40 minutes and the entire session takes about 90 minutes to complete. The session process will begin by getting you situated in a comfortable chair. Then, your clinician will inform you when the IV has started.
The first thing you will feel is a sense of relaxation of mind and/or body. You may then begin to feel slightly light or light-headed. Some people report a sense of feeling a slight warmth. Eventually, you may feel even lighter, almost a slight separation between yourself and your body. Your hands and legs may feel far away. Some people progressively feel more separation between themselves and the different components of consciousness (e.g., their thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and perception). Occasionally, people continue to progressively experience an even greater physical sensation of lightness – sometimes to the point of feeling above the room. Patients generally tolerate these sensations very well reporting the experience as “spiritual” or “pleasurable”.
If someone is struggling with depression, anxiety, or rumination, this point is when they feel much less of and/or distant from these feelings. This experience is frequently described as an immense relief – like the blanket of depression has been temporarily lifted. This experience can also serve as a very hopeful reminder to patients that depression or anxiety does not define them. These conditions are separate from them, and as such, they can be temporary.
In rare cases, patients may have a more negative experience. We have psychiatric professionals on site to help manage these rare events which are generally brief and usually resolve completely within 10-15 minutes after stopping the infusion.