WHAT IS KETAMINE?
Ketamine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1970 for use as an anesthetic (used to put patients to sleep for surgery). It has been used safely throughout the world for 50 years. There is mounting evidence that ketamine, when used at lower doses than is used for anesthesia, may improve multiple medical conditions that have not responded well to common therapies. Some of these conditions include*:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Chronic pain syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia)
Chronic migraine headaches
*The FDA has not yet investigated the effectiveness of ketamine to treat the above conditions. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, ketamine is only approved for use as an anesthetic agent and considers other uses as investigational.
HOW DOES KETAMINE WORK?
There is significant evidence that many mental health conditions and chronic pain syndromes are caused by dysfunctional neuropathways in the brain. Ketamine can disrupt these connection and encourage the brain to make new ones. Ketamine work well with neuropathways that control mood, emotions, and pain. It is important to understand that ketamine does not rewire neuropathways on its own but disrupts a dysfunction, allowing you to create healthy connections. It is also not a cure and requires additional work on your part to be most effective.
See A TEAM APPROACH below for more information.
WHAT ARE KETAMINE TREATMENTS LIKE?
On the day of your treatment, you will be placed in a recliner in a private, comfortable treatment room. We will start an IV in your arm and connect you to an IV pump that will deliver your ketamine. We carefully monitor you during your treatment. Depending on what we are treating, your session will generally last from 30-60 minutes.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it disrupts the connection to your conscious mind. Many people describe the feeling as floating or being out-of-body. Most patients find the experience healing or enlightening. It is possible that during your treatment, what you perceive as suppressed memories or feelings may surface. The benefit of ketamine is that if this happens most patients feel they are better able to process these feelings and thoughts objectively.
At the end of your treatment, you will be monitored for at least another 30 minutes, possibly longer, to ensure the effects of ketamine have resolved enough that you can go home. YOU MUST HAVE A DRIVER TO TAKE YOU HOME and we strongly recommend a trusted family member or friend stay with you for at least a few hours. Most patients go home and sleep. You may not return to work, operate dangerous machinery, participate in risky activities, or make important decisions for at least 8 hours after your treatment. It takes time for the effects of ketamine to completely resolve and you will be in no condition to do any of the above activities until that happens.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I NEED AND HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
The number of treatments needed and the cost varies by the condition we are treating and by each patient's response to treatment. Select your condition below to learn more.
A TEAM APPROACH
The dysfunctional neuropathways responsible for your condition have developed over an extended period of time, usually years, and will take work to disrupt and then replace with healthy connections. We recommend a team approach to help you be successful in this journey. An established relationship with a specialist (psychiatrist, psychologist, family therapist, pain management provider, primary care provider, or neurologist) who is familiar with your condition and can continue to work with you during your treatments is highly recommended for chronic pain and migraine patients. It is required for mental health patients. Ketamine combined with therapy has proven to be more successful than either alone for all conditions. Additionally, we recommend a healthy diet and exercise as these are crucial to wellness. A nutritionist, physical therapist, or exercise therapist is beneficial. Supportive family or friends are also important to include on your journey as you will need an environment where you can be successful in rebuilding your life. At Regen Advanced Infusion and Wellness Center, we can help coordinate the key components proven to increase your opportunities for success.