What is ketamine?

Ketamine is one of the most promising new treatment options for depression. Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic because of its safety and effectiveness. Over the past two decades, research has consistently demonstrated that the use of ketamine in lower, non-anesthetic doses markedly improves depression, often in a single treatment session.
When used for the treatment of depression, ketamine is usually administered in an outpatient (clinic) setting and can be given intravenously (through an IV), intramuscularly (needle injection), orally (by mouth), or intranasally (inhalation through the nose). In order to produce sustained effects, ketamine is usually administered two to three times per week for several weeks (induction), followed by less frequent treatments that help maintain the benefits (maintenance). 

Does it work?

Research consistently supports the use of ketamine for the treatment of depressive symptoms.  There now have been thousands of patients treated with ketamine for depression in published clinical trials. These studies have established that ketamine is safe and effective for the treatment of depression, with approximately 40-80% of people having their symptoms reduced by 50% or more. Many people experience a complete resolution (remission) of their symptoms. In addition, ketamine can also significantly reduce suicidal thoughts in a single treatment session.

What are the downsides?

In the doses used for the treatment of depression, ketamine may cause temporary dissociation (feeling like things are not real, or that you are not in your body), sedation, impaired coordination and balance, nausea, and dizziness or vertigo. It may also cause a headache, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure for a short time after each dose. All of these side effects usually resolve within an hour, if they happen at all. Ketamine is a potentially addictive substance and can (rarely) lead to craving, dependence, or abuse.

What does it feel like?

The effects of ketamine usually begin within 3-10 minutes of administration (depending on the route). The first thing most patients notice is tingling in the lips and extremities (fingers, toes). They may then start to feel separated from their thoughts, body, or themselves (dissociation). Some patients feel like they are floating, like their body is larger, smaller, or a different shape. People sometimes feel completely disconnected from their body and more focused on their mind or other senses, like hearing and sight. The adjective many patients use is “dreamlike.” We will monitor you throughout your treatment to ensure your safety and comfort.

We provide a safe, comfortable, and medically supervised environment during treatment.