What does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Feel Like?
May 03, 2021
Ketamine Infusion Therapy is gaining favor in the medical community as a new and exciting treatment option for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It is especially known for being able to help the ~33% of patients who never feel relief from traditional medications. Those patients have been categorized as having “treatment-resistant” depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Until recently little could be done to help people who did not respond favorably to traditional therapies. In the early 2000s scientist began to investigate a new therapy for these patients: Ketamine.
With any new therapy, there is bound to be hesitation, on the part of patients and their doctors, to embrace an unfamiliar treatment. Even though Ketamine has been FDA approved as a safe and effective anesthetic for over 50 years, its history of abuse as a club drug has left it with a stigma that is hard to shake. It should be noted that when it is abused, it is often taken in doses exceeding 10 times the dose used by doctors when Ketamine is administered as an anesthetic. Ketamine infusion therapy for depression, anxiety, and PTSD is given at doses ½ to ¼ the strength of anesthetic doses commonly used in the operating room or emergency room settings.
We know that Ketamine IV infusion therapy is given in lower doses over longer periods, and this approach is why it is well tolerated by patients. People seeking relief from their depression, anxiety, or PTSD want to know what they can expect during their infusion. One of the most common questions prospective patients ask is, what does it feel like?
Most of us have the reference point of having felt drowsy from taking a medication. The most common one that comes to mind is Benadryl. Many people also can relate to the feeling of tipsiness from having a couple of alcoholic drinks. We can also relate to the stimulating effect of caffeine or an energy drink.
Ketamine is in a class of its own. It is known as a “dissociative anesthetic.” Dissociation is a feeling of detachment from your environment. It is often associated with a feeling of floating and relaxation. Many describe a dream-like state. The best clinical outcomes (those getting relief from their underlying condition) are seen in patients who experience, at least, a brief period of dissociation.
The most common side effects of Ketamine infusion therapy are dizziness and nausea. There have been no long-term adverse effects of Ketamine infusion therapy reported. This is felt to be due to the low doses used for treatment (as opposed to the extremely high doses used when it is abused as a club drug).
What ketamine does in the brain is a hot topic of research. The science of ketamine is still being worked out, but we know it works on the NDMA receptor and the neurotransmitter glutamate. This is different from all other classes of antidepressants or antianxiety medications available. We also know that ketamine helps in the creation of new neural pathways in the brain, which felt to be central to its beneficial effects.
Is it time to consider Ketamine? If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or PTSD and traditional therapies have failed, please visit us at MD Infusions, or call us at (844)INFUSE4 (1-844-463-8734) for a free consultation to see if Ketamine IV Infusion Therapy is right for you.