Ketamine Infusion Therapy

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Ketamine infusion therapy is effective for patients struggling with a number of psychiatric conditions, including treatment-resistant depression (TRD), anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and suicidal ideation. Not finding relief from existing treatments such as medications, TMS, or psychotherapy? Ketamine infusion therapy may be a potential treatment option for you to explore.

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Recent data suggest that ketamine given intravenously may be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades…

The National Institute of Health

What is ketamine infusion therapy?

Ketamine is a general anesthetic widely used in operating rooms since the 1970s. In the late 1990s, researchers at Yale first showed that a subanesthetic (low-dose) intravenous infusion of ketamine had rapid and profound antidepressant effects. Subsequently, a large (and growing) research literature evolved over the next 20 years demonstrating the efficacy of ketamine infusion therapy to help patients with TRD, bipolar depression, suicidal ideation, PTSD and other anxiety disorders.

Ketamine acts differently than commonly used antidepressants like Prozac and Lexapro (known as “SSRIs”). Unlike these medications that act on serotonin, ketamine is thought to act on NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors and to stimulate glutamate activity. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that is critical in helping the brain change by making new neural connections.

Because the ketamine infusion is given intravenously and is considered a controlled substance, it must be administered by specially trained medical personnel in a certified clinical setting. Most patients receive it as an outpatient and go home in a couple of hours.

What does ketamine infusion therapy treat?

People who are currently struggling with major depressive disorder (MDD) and haven’t found success or have experienced adverse side effects from at least two different antidepressant treatments may have treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Clinical studies show that ketamine infusion therapy can effectively treat MDD and TRD with a success rate as high as 70%. Many patients show rapid improvement after just their first or second infusion.


of patients show improvement in depression symptoms.


of patients experience complete resolution of their depression.


of patients with suicidal ideation are resolved of suicidality within 3 days of treatment.

How does ketamine infusion therapy work?

Scientists are still studying the exact mechanism by which depression is relieved by ketamine. However, research suggests that by blocking the NDMA receptors, ketamine stimulates a rapid increase in glutamate within the brain. This increase in glutamate strengthens and restores the vital neural connections and pathways in the regions of the brain most impaired by depression. As a result, there are positive changes in brain circuit function and improved mood regulation. When given in low doses, ketamine infusion therapy can produce rapid and significant improvement in symptoms, often within a few hours to days.

What does a ketamine infusion therapy session look like?

IV ketamine treatments are an office-based, outpatient procedure. At MHS, we currently 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.

Are there any side effects?

The most common side effects usually only occur up to two hours after the infusion has been administered. To help ensure the safety of patients, there is a two-hour window of supervision at the clinic following the administration before patients can leave and head home. Although you may not experience any of these side effects, the most common side effects of ketamine infusion therapy include:

Disassociation or feeling strange/loopy

Disassociation or feeling strange/loopy

Double vision

Double vision

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite

Dream-like state

Dream-like state



Elevated blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure

Trouble speaking

Trouble speaking

Slight pain at injection site

Slight pain at injection site

A Note on Drug Abuse

Ketamine is also a drug of abuse. It’s known as “Special K” on the streets and it’s the number one club drug in some Asian countries. Although it’s not common for patients receiving controlled ketamine administrations for the treatment of depression to turn into ketamine abusers, we have to be careful about regulating the drug so that it doesn’t end up in the hands of people who don’t need it.

Your path to treatment

For ketamine infusion therapy to become part of your customized treatment plan, our staff will gather information on your symptoms, background, and any attempted treatments. They will answer any questions you may have about ketamine infusion therapy and, if you are interested, discuss how the treatment works. From there, you will be able to schedule your treatment sessions. Your physician will also help you to determine maintenance treatments based on your unique needs.

All treatment plans at Mindful Health Solutions are customized to each patient. Our talented team of clinicians and support staff is dedicated to working with patients collaboratively to find a treatment plan that works for them.

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Ketamine Infusion Therapy Fees

With the exception of Kaiser insurance, Ketamine Infusion Therapy (KIT) is not eligible for insurance reimbursement at this time.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy (KIT) for depression or other psychiatric indications is $600 per treatment.

Initial ketamine infusion therapy consists of 6 IV ketamine treatments over the course of 3 weeks. The details of this protocol are discussed in detail during the initial evaluation. Infusion appointments generally take 90—120 minutes. If the symptoms are successfully controlled with these initial treatments, then follow-up evaluations will be conducted to determine long-term treatment plans.

Maintenance treatments usually consist of one infusion every 2-4 weeks.

Why Mindful Health Solutions for ketamine infusion therapy?

Ketamine infusion therapy is a novel treatment for depression; not all clinics can provide the same expert and safe medical care as we can at Mindful Health Solutions. Our ketamine clinics are run by expert clinicians in the field; they have years of expertise using ketamine infusion therapy to treat mental illness and have conducted and published peer-reviewed research on ketamine in top medical journals. You can trust that they will only recommend ketamine infusion therapy as a treatment option if it is safe and they believe it will help you finally experience the relief from mental illness that you deserve.

At Mindful Health Solutions, we understand the importance of patient-centered care and understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to mental health treatment. This is why we pride ourselves in offering standard treatment options such as medications and psychotherapy, alongside more cutting-edge alternative therapies such as TMS, Intranasal Esketamine (Spravato) and Ketamine infusion therapy.

Mindful Health Solutions also wants to make treatment comfortable and accessible. If patients are unable to physically come into the office for consultation or prefer a virtual appointment, Mindful Health Solutions offers telepsychiatry.  We also foster a strong culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Our clinicians and therapists strive to embody a sense of awareness, respect, and humility with regard to cultural differences. And last but not least, we accept most major insurances.

Book an Appointment

Please fill out the form below and you will be contacted by a member of our team via text and phone.

You may also call or text 844-867-8444 to speak with one of our Intake Specialists.

Leaders in ketamine infusion therapy

Dr. Marton is the Chief Medical Officer of Mindful Health Solutions. He has an extensive background in psychiatric and neuroscience research, including a PhD in Neuroscience, and has conducted research on the neurocircuitry of the Prefrontal Cortex as well as clinical and translational research projects.

Prior to joining MHS, Dr. Marton was on faculty at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine. In addition to starting the rTMS clinic at San Francisco VA Medical Center, in 2017 he founded and directed the San Francisco VA IV Ketamine Clinic, one of only a small number of clinical ketamine programs in the VA system at that time. He provided intravenous ketamine treatments to over 150 severely depressed veterans with over 2000 ketamine infusions and conducted several research studies. His peer-reviewed papers examining clinical outcomes in veterans receiving ketamine infusions for depression have been published in top medical journals such as Biological Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology. His work was recognized within the VA system where he developed and delivered the first VA-wide training for the delivery of IV Ketamine for depression and was also invited to present his work to the Research Advisory Council on Gulf War Illness, a congressionally-mandated advisory body. He has also educated and trained many medical students, residents, fellows, and attendings in the use of ketamine and therapeutic Neuromodulation to treat depressive disorders.

Dr. Marton brings his extensive clinical and research background to the MHS Ketamine Infusion Clinic. Based on his experience successfully treating veterans with severe depression and PTSD, He knows that Ketamine Infusion Therapy can be delivered safely and effectively while also aligning with the best available published evidence and clinical guidelines. He is committed to ensuring that patients being treated with Ketamine Infusion Therapy at MHS are receiving the highest possible standard of care consistent with the latest clinical guidelines and available research.


Ketamine Infusion Therapy can be an incredibly powerful treatment for patients struggling with severe treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and other psychiatric ailments. We are committed to providing safe, effective, and evidence-based ketamine infusion therapy at MHS. Our team looks forward to consulting with you to see if ketamine may be the right next step for you in your healing journey.

Dr. Toby Marton
CMO of Mindful Health Solutions

Dr. Lau is the Associate Chief of Training and Innovation at Mindful Health Solutions. He has a broad background in medicine. Having graduated from a combined Family Medicine and Psychiatry Program, he trained in the usage of interventional psychiatry techniques treating patients with significant mental illness, including significant experience with IV ketamine.

Prior to joining MHS, Dr. Lau worked with Dr. Marton on the IV Ketamine Program at the SFVA and subsequently directed said program as it grew and expanded. He has treated over 150 veterans and done over 2000 infusions of veterans with a variety of diagnoses and after multiple other treatment failures. He wanted to expand community access to IV ketamine treatment, and with his partners subsequently founded Luminous Mind Medicine, a private community interventional psychiatry clinic that offered IV ketamine in the San Francisco Bay Area in Oakland, further broadening his treatment experience. Dr. Lau is bringing his practice into Mindful Health Solutions and adding his extensive expertise to our group.


Ketamine Infusion Therapy is along the cutting edge of novel psychiatric treatment, leading the wave of psychedelic-based therapies that aim to revolutionize mental health care. The opportunity to provide previously unattainable relief from treatment-resistance depression, severe PTSD, and other mental illnesses in an evidence-based yet holistic care model is very exciting to me. I look forward to developing and building a practice in MHS that you will enjoy sharing your healing journey with.

Dr. Alvin Lau
Associate Chief of Training and Innovation

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