If you are seeking an alternative treatment for your mental health struggles, it’s time to consider IV ketamine (also known as ketamine infusion therapy). But what exactly is ketamine infusion therapy, and what can you expect during treatment? We’re here to answer all your questions and provide an accurate and detailed explanation of what it really feels like to have a ketamine infusion. From the physical sensations to the benefits, we’ll provide an in-depth look at this amazing therapy.
What to Expect with an IV Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine infusion must be administered by specially trained medical personnel in a certified clinical setting because it is given intravenously and is considered a controlled substance. Most patients receive it as an outpatient and go home in a couple of hours.
At Mindful Health Solutions, we currently offer ketamine infusion therapy in San Francisco and Oakland, California. The infusion lasts 40 minutes, and the entire session takes about an hour and a half to two hours to complete.
The session process will begin by getting you situated in a comfortable chair. Once you’re settled in your chair, your doctor will let you know when the IV has begun.
At the beginning of the treatment, you’ll start to feel relaxed mentally and/or physically. As treatment progresses, you may feel increasingly light or faint. Some people report a sense of feeling slight warmth.
Some people experience a feeling almost like a slight separation between themselves and their bodies. 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). These sensations are considered the dissociative effects of ketamine.
Patients generally tolerate these sensations very well, reporting the experience as “spiritual” or “pleasurable”. They may report experiences of enhanced creativity or insight. During these sensations, someone struggling with depression, anxiety, or rumination will feel much less of and/or distant from those negative symptoms. Patients often describe this experience as an immense relief – like the blanket of depression has been temporarily lifted.
In rare cases, patients may have a more negative experience. People may feel confused, experience increased anxiety or fear, or encounter unexpected memories or flashbacks. While the majority of ketamine infusion experiences are positive, it is important to be aware of all the possible effects. 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.
Benefits of IV Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine infusion therapy is primarily used to treat people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) and treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Some of our favorite statistics on ketamine treatments include:
- Clinical studies show that ketamine infusion therapy can effectively treat MDD and treatment-resistant depression TRD with a success rate as high as 70%.
- Many patients show rapid improvement after just their first or second infusion.
- 35% of patients experience that their depression symptoms are completely resolved after ketamine treatment.
- 63% of patients with suicidal ideation experience no longer having suicidal thoughts within 3 days of treatment.
Ketamine has also been proven effective in treating other mental health conditions. It can help treat anxiety disorders, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Ketamine infusion therapy is one of the 4 best treatments for treatment-resistant depression. Learn about the other 3!
Side effects range from person to person and typically last only during treatment. Although you may not experience any of these side effects, the most common side effects of ketamine infusion therapy include:
- Feeling strange or loopy
- Dream-like state
- Double vision
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble speaking
- Elevated heart rate
- Slight pain at the injection site
- Elevated blood pressure
To ensure the safety of our patients, they are supervised during their sessions for around 90 minutes to two hours.
If you’re considering ketamine infusion therapy to help with your mental health struggles, it’s important to know what to expect. While it is certainly different than taking medications, ketamine infusion therapy is generally safe and well tolerated while also providing relief from depression symptoms and other mental health issues. With the right support and treatment plan, ketamine infusion therapy can be the key to a healthier and happier life. Contact us online or give us a call at 844-867-8444 today to learn if IV ketamine could work for you.