The answers to Ketamine Therapy FAQs:
1) What is ketamine?
Ketamine is a well-established medication most commonly used for surgery and pain relief. It was developed in 1962 in an attempt to create a useful drug without any side effects or risk for addiction. It’s impressively safe and versatile and remains one of the most common medications used by physicians for pain treatment and anesthesia. Recently, ketamine has been approved as an incredibly effective treatment option for psychological disorders.
2) How is ketamine different from traditional medications?
Mental illnesses have many interweaving causes that can be hard to identify. When medications targeting certain neurotransmitters showed positive effects, they largely became the focus for intervention. However, for many people, these medications can give limited improvements or even be ineffective. Ketamine is a recent revolutionary breakthrough, as it looks at mental treatment from an entirely new perspective.
Instead of targeting neurotransmitters like traditional medications, it focuses on radically changing neural passageways and developing healthy neurons. This has proved to be far more effective. In addition to this, ketamine infusion therapy can often change the way the brain responds to medications, increasing the effectiveness of already prescribed drugs. Many people who haven’t found adequate improvement through traditional treatments are now able to experience life-changing relief.
3) What can ketamine infusion therapy help treat?
Ketamine infusion therapy can help treat many different disorders. It can help with depression, suicidality, anxiety, bipolar, addiction, PTSD, OCD, BPD, sleep disorders, and pain disorders such as fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome.
4) Is there a risk of addiction?
There is no evidence that ketamine infusion therapy causes addiction, although there aren’t many widespread studies regarding ketamine. Ketamine infusions use a lower dose than when taken recreationally, and the clinical setting hinders the possibility of addiction. Ketamine has even been used to treat addictions, particularly for opiates and alcohol.
5) Are there possible side effects?
Unlike many other medications, ketamine has few side effects. During the infusions, ketamine can cause nausea, temporary hallucinations, and a lack of appetite. These are often very short-lived and mild. Patients commonly feel tired and groggy after an infusion, but this goes away completely after a night of sleep.
6) Do I need a referral?
We require that you consult with one of our psychiatrist providers to see if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you. If you are currently seeing a psychiatrist that is providing you medication management, we can collaborate to determine if Ketamine treatment would be a good course of action for you.
7) Are there any medications or health conditions that make ketamine infusions unsafe?
Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Klonopin, Librium, or Valium) interfere with ketamine if they are at a high dose or are used daily. If you are currently on benzodiazepines, our suggestion is to avoid the medication 4-6 hours before the infusion as it makes it less effective. Our evaluation with the psychiatry team will review your medical history and current medications to ensure that ketamine infusions are safe for you.
8) Is there an age requirement for treatment?
We do not typically perform infusions on children younger than 12, but every case is different. We would be happy to talk with you about your specific situation to see if ketamine infusion therapy is the optimal path for treatment.
9) Can I eat and/or drink prior to my infusion?
You can eat and drink before your infusion, but a light meal would be best.
10) What is the process like?
There’s an optional free 15-minute consultation to see if the process is something you might want to look into, followed by an appointment with a psychiatrist. After determining that ketamine infusion is right for you, you can schedule an appointment. Sometimes we can get you in immediately. During the infusion, you will be in a comfortable chair and given eyeshades and earbuds. The IV drip increases very slowly, but we can stop it if you ever feel uncomfortable. Experienced and caring nurses stay to check on you and take your vitals every eight minutes. We suggest going into the experience with your goals for treatment in mind. This makes the dissociative phase as beneficial as possible, as your brain works to repair itself.
11) How quickly will I feel relief?
Many patients feel relief within a few hours or days. Usually, those who struggle with thoughts of self-harm and suicide notice those thoughts and feelings go away first, bringing immense relief. Many times people notice a gradual improvement from their disorder as they go through the course of their treatments.
12) What is the recommended course?
Patients usually have a few infusions over a short period of time. Sometimes patients require infrequent infusions for maintenance. The recommended course depends on multiple things and differs from person to person. We will work with you to create a unique treatment plan that is optimal for you.
13) Will I be able to drive home?
It is important that you arrange transportation for after your infusions, as it is highly recommended that you do not drive or operate any dangerous machinery until the next day.
14) How can I get started?
Have a question not answered by our Ketamine Therapy FAQs?
Our expert staff at Colorado Recovery Infusion Center in Denver, CO, are highly experienced in administering Ketamine Therapy treatments in a safe, private, and nurturing environment. All of our IV therapy treatments are overseen by an MD and administered by a Registered Nurse (RN) or Certified Registered Nurse of Infusion (CRNI).
We provide exclusive ketamine therapy treatment programs to clients all over the greater Denver area, including Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and beyond. If you any additional questions, then call us today at (720) 899-4770 or schedule a free consultation.