Each ketamine infusion procedure is administered in our clinic. We advise no eating or drinking anything four hours prior to your scheduled appointment to minimize the chances of nausea, though you may have a small amount of clear liquids up to two hours before your appointment.
A ketamine infusion procedure begins with you relaxing in one of our comfortable infusion chairs in a private room where we connect you to blood pressure, oxygen, pulse, and other monitors. Ketamine is a very safe drug when administered in a clinical setting, 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, we remove the needle and all that remains in your arm is a small, soft tube so there is no discomfort. We then connect the tube to a syringe with your tailored dose which is placed in an IV bag. Should you need more or less medicine during an infusion, we can readily adjust—or stop– the flow. Our excellent results are partly due to this crucial personalization and careful tailoring of medication dosage.
We start each infusion at a target dose to ensure patients receive the proper amount of medication over the course of their infusion. Each infusion is 50-55 minutes long and you will need to stay seated in your chair the entire time. Once the infusion is complete and you are stable, we will remove the IV from your arm and apply a small bandage.
Don’t eat or drink for up to four hours prior to your appointment (some clear liquids are okay). During the procedure, you’ll have a flexible tube in your arm instead of a needle, which is much more comfortable.
We use a digital infusion pump to infuse the ketamine, which can be adjusted during your procedure if you need more or less medicine.
Each infusion takes about 50-55 minutes, during which you will be seated in a comfortable recliner.
During an infusion, many patients will ‘tune out’ and listen to relaxing music through our headphones. We also provide soft eye masks if you wish to shut your eyes. Through intravenous administration, ketamine reaches the brain within seconds and its effects are felt rapidly, typically within 7-10 minutes. Ketamine induces a dissociative state in which some people report an “out-of-body” feeling and, while it may be a little startling to some, most patients find it to be an enjoyable or interesting experience.
If you are an anxious person by nature, you may experience some tension and slight anxious feelings as your treatment begins. Most often, however, these feelings dissipate quickly as the medicine begins to work and its calming effects on the nervous system are initiated. 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 through your IV to aid in relaxation.
Our physicians and nurses will monitor you for comfort during treatment to see how you are responding to the medicine. In some cases, feelings of nausea occur, particularly in people who are predisposed to motion sickness or are generally easily nauseated. This is almost always managed quickly with an antiemetic given before, during, and/or after your infusion.
Most patients feel relatively normal shortly after the treatment is complete, usually within 20-30 minutes. Most lingering side effects tend to dissipate within a few hours of your visit.
Common mild side effects may include: Fatigue, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, headache
Fatigue is the most common and longest-lasting side effect, but still short-lived as it generally goes away after a meal and a full night of sleep. We require a responsible adult to drive you home after your infusions. 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.