Ketamine is a highly effective depression treatment, if not a highly misunderstood one. Until Yale researchers discovered the antidepressant effects of ketamine in the late 1990s, what people understood about ketamine use was (a) that it was largely recreational, or (b) that it was primarily used in veterinary medicine. Because of the many misconceptions surrounding ketamine use, it’s functionality as a depression treatment leaves many people with questions.
Is it safe? Yes.
Is it addictive. No, ketamine is not a physically addictive substance.
What will my first ketamine infusion feel like? Will I “trip?”
Because ketamine is known as a hallucinogenic drug—and because media headlines talking about “tripping” on ketamine for depression are good click bait—the first question that most new patients ask is what to expect during their first ketamine infusion. Let us remove some of the uncertainty around what a ketamine infusion feels like…
Once we’ve determined that you are a good fit for ketamine for depression, and you’ve gone through the intake process, we’ll schedule your first ketamine infusion.
Whether you are scheduled for an in-home ketamine infusion or are planning on coming in to our office, the process is the same. We will start by setting an IV, and applying monitors to record heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. We use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the duration of your depression treatment.
The infusion will take about 45-minutes, throughout which you will remain awake and alert. We recommend relaxing quietly and listening to calming music, and that you avoid highly stimulating or mentally demanding activities. During your ketamine infusion you may feel like you are having an “out of body” experience, or like you are floating. Generally, the effects of a ketamine infusion are enjoyable, and any side effects are mild and non-threatening. A small percentage of patients may experience nausea, and we are equipped to provide an anti-nausea medication via IV, if necessary.
The side effects of your ketamine infusion generally wear off within 2-hours. We will monitor you closely for about 30-minutes post-infusion. If you are already at home, there is nothing you need to do except relax and let the ketamine work its depression treatment magic. If you are at our office, we will release you into the care of a friend or family member, as you should refrain from driving for 24-hours post-infusion.
Many patients feel relief from their symptoms within 1-2 infusions. Some feel relief in as little as a few hours after an infusion. Everyone is different, and we will recommend a series of infusions designed to meet your unique needs.
There is nothing to worry about when it comes to ketamine for depression. There are now nearly three decades of research behind this incredible depression treatment, and all of it is—quite honestly—remarkable.
Contact Emerge Ketamine
Are you ready to explore ketamine for depression or chronic pain? Complete the brief form below to learn more about ketamine, and find out if you are a candidate.