WHAT TO EXPECT:
Many new patients are curious about how Ketamine Infusion Therapy works and what to expect during treatment. Most are pleased to find out how painless this procedure is and surprised to learn they could be enjoying benefits as soon as a few hours after their first infusion, other patients may require a second or third infusion before they get relief.
At Upstate Ketamine Care, we do everything we can to ensure your visits are as comfortable as possible. Whether you are seeking treatment for depression or treatment for a mood disorder or need alternative treatments for pain or pain relief, we are here to help. We administer low-dose ketamine infusions in a relaxing and comfortable setting so you can get the relief you need as quickly as possible.
The Ketamine IV Procedure
All ketamine infusions are administered as an outpatient procedure in our state-of-the-art facility in Rochester, New York. You are required to inform us of any medications or drugs you are taking prior to your first infusion ensure there are no contraindications with ketamine.
There can be no eating or drinking anything four hours before your scheduled appointment. You may enjoy clear liquids up to two hours before your appointment. If you have eaten within four hours you will not be able to be treated, if you have had liquid within two hours of your treatment you will not be able to be treated.
The procedure begins with you relaxing in one of our comfortable infusion chairs in a private room where we connect you to monitors to monitor your blood pressure, oxygen, pulse and EKG. Ketamine is a very safe drug when used responsibly by a clinician, and we take all precautions to ensure your comfort and safety. We will locate a suitable vein on your arm, wrist, or hand and insert a very tiny needle with a tube right under the skin’s surface. Most patients are surprised at how painless this process is, even those who are scared of needles. After the IV is established and secured the infusion begins.
We will start the infusion at a customized dose to ensure proper delivery into the bloodstream. Your treatment can take up to 55 minutes and you will need to stay seated in your chair the entire time. Once the infusion is complete we will remove the IV from your arm and apply a small bandage.
Many patients ‘tune out’ and listen to relaxing music that we provide while enjoying our noise-cancelling headphones. You are also welcome to listen to your own music on your electronic device. Patients generally close their eyes and relax during the procedure. Eye masks are offered to help keep outside sights and lights from disrupting you. Ketamine reaches the brain within seconds and some people report a sense of disassociation where they lose awareness of their body. This is not usually unpleasant in anyway but can be startling to some patients. If you are an anxious person by nature, you may experience some tension and a heightened state of anxiety as your treatment begins. The important thing to remember is that the treatment is safe and you are in expert hands in a fully staffed medical facility with all the necessary monitoring equipment. Our team is highly trained to handle a wide variety of situations and when needed, additional medications can be administered to aid in relaxation. Remember you can always stop the infusion. You are in control the whole time.
Our medical staff will monitor you for comfort and effect during treatment to see how you are responding to infusion therapy. In some cases, feelings of nausea occur, particularly in people who suffer from motion sickness. This is almost always managed with an anti-nausea medicine given before, during or after your infusion if needed.
You will feel relatively normal shortly after the treatment is complete, usually within 20-30 minutes. Lingering side effects tend to dissipate within a few hours of your visit. Fatigue is the most common and longest lasting that generally goes away after a meal and full night of sleep. We require a responsible adult you feel safe with to drive you to and from your infusions and stay with you in the room during your infusion. You will not be able to drive for the remainder of the day, resume work, operate heavy machinery, or sign legally binding agreements, so plan accordingly.
HOW IT WORKS
How Ketamine Infusion Therapy Works
For the Treatment of Mood Disorders
The wide range of chemical processes that occur in the human brain are very complex and fully understanding them is something that neurobiologists spend their entire lives doing. That being said, here is a very simplified explanation of how Ketamine interacts with receptors and chemicals in the brain to cause (often immediate) antidepressant effects, even in patients with severe Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). It’s important to note this interaction is exclusive to Ketamine Infusion Therapy where ketamine is given slowly, intravenously, and at a sub-anesthetic dose.
Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and an AMPA receptor stimulator. AMPA stimulation results in increases in BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF stimulates the formation of new receptors and synapses (which are vital connections between neurons). Research suggests that a deficiency in these connections is associated with major depressive disorder and other mood disorders, difficulties with sleep, over-stimulation, and focus.
One of the brain’s key neurotransmitters is glutamate, an amino acid found in 80% of neurons. Glutamate influences the formation and number of brain synapses – the vital connections between neurons. Glutamate acts with another important neurotransmitter, GABA, to maintain a healthy, well-functioning nervous system. An imbalance between GABA and glutamate can cause problems, including anxiety, difficulties with sleep, overstimulation, and issues with focus. Imbalance in the glutamatergic system is also associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). Growing evidence suggests that ketamine helps rebalance the glutamate system by acting as a receptor “antagonist.” One of the ways ketamine works is by blocking the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor, one of three major glutamate receptors. This receptor is involved in synaptic plasticity and memory function, among other functions. A ketamine-induced blockade of the NMDA receptor results in an increase in glutamate. This initiates a cascade of neurobiological events that researchers believe is one key reason behind ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects.
What Researchers Say About Ketamine
Since 2004, researchers at leading medical institutions have performed many studies proving ketamine’s ability to significantly relieve depressive symptoms. According to The Washington Post, many experts, such as Thomas Insel (former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health), are calling ketamine “the most significant advancement in mental health in 50 years”
Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and an AMPA receptor stimulator. AMPA stimulation is necessary for increasing brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which in turn stimulates the formation of new receptors and synapses. This process is critical for making connections between neurons and is often severely compromised among those suffering from PTSD, depression, and mood disorders.
Ketamine has long been used as an anesthetic and an analgesic in surgeries, emergency rooms, and burn centers. More and more doctors are administering ketamine for the treatment of mood disorders as it’s antidepressant effects are becoming more widely recognized. When administered intravenously, ketamine can help patients get rid of feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. As the treatment gains popularity, it is increasingly important to see a provider who has the knowledge and experience to provide you with a safe, efficacious infusion.
It is important to note that researchers are still exploring all of ways ketamine infusions impact the brain and are working hard to fully understand why this medicine works so quickly and efficaciously.
Schedule Your Ketamine Treatment Today
If you suffer from a mood disorder or chronic pain condition, call now to find out if Ketamine infusion therapy is right for you.