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How Long Is the Typical Infusion Session?
The typical infusion session lasts for 45 minutes, followed by a 20-minute recovery period. To ensure your safety, we ask that you have a designated driver pick you up from the appointment.
What Will I Feel During the Infusion?
Ketamine is classified as a dissociative anesthetic, where “dissociation” means a sense of disconnection from one’s ordinary reality and usual sense of self.
About 10 minutes into the 45-minute session, at the dosage level administered to you, you will most likely experience mild anesthetic, anxiolytic, and antidepressant effects. You may feel drowsy, heaviness in your limbs, or the sensation that you’re viewing your own body. You might also experience increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as an altered sense of time. It is a comfortable and pleasant experience for most people.
The experience is characterized by the relaxation of ordinary concerns and usual mindset, all while maintaining conscious awareness. This tends to lead to a disruption of negative feelings, anxiety, and obsessional preoccupations. Many feel that this interruption–and the exploration of other possible states of consciousness—can lead to significant shifts in overall well-being.
These dissociative effects last for approximately 10-15 minutes after the infusion session. During this time, you will relax in our therapy room.
How Long Does It Take to Feel the Positive Effects of Ketamine?
Each individual’s reaction time to ketamine treatment varies. According to studies, 50-75% of those with treatment-resistant depression feel at least 50% better within a day.
We find that about one third of our patients find relief from symptoms of their mental health condition in as soon as 10 minutes to a few hours after a single infusion. For another third, it may take a few infusion sessions to feel the medicine’s effects. The remaining third find that it takes the full six sessions before their symptoms relent.
Although patients may still have some down days during the six infusion and therapy sessions, they tend to feel much better overall following a complete course of treatment.
How Long Do the Positive Effects of Ketamine Last?
Those patients who respond to a single infusion, typically experience relief for approximately a week, though outlying individuals may feel the effects for up to a year.
After the full course of six infusions, patients usually experience remission of symptoms from three to six weeks and return for “booster” treatments. Some patients find that they require fewer booster treatments over time and their symptoms are less severe.
In rare cases, complete remission of symptoms has been observed.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Ketamine infusion is a proven therapy that has successfully brought quick relief to many patients with treatment-resistant mental health conditions. As with any treatment, a small number of patients may experience short-term side effects.
At your pre-infusion intake appointment, we will discuss your health history and mitigate issues as needed. Our RN will check your vital signs before and after the infusion, and be present throughout the session to monitor and treat any side effects.
The most common side effects are a short-term spike in blood pressure, pulse, or heart rate, which may be a risk to those with heart disease.
Patients may also experience:
Heaviness of limbs
During the infusion session, you may also experience some dissociative effects, such as the sensation that you’re viewing your own body, an increased sensitivity to light and sound, and an altered sense of time. While these sensations are not considered physically harmful, they may be unpleasant to some. They last for approximately 15 minutes after the infusion.
What If I Can’t Tolerate the Infusion?
Your comfort and well-being are our first priority. Although Ketamine infusions are typically well-tolerated by our patients, some feel unwanted side effects or find the experience to be unpleasant. The attending RN can stop the infusion stopped at any time, for any reason, and you will be back to normal consciousness within a few minutes. Dissociative feelings may linger for up to fifteen minutes.
What Are the Long-term Effects of Ketamine Use?
Although ketamine has shown to be a very effective therapy for treatment-resistant mental health conditions, longer-term effects of the medicine are unknown. Researchers are currently studying how ketamine affects patients after a few months or years of use.
Is Ketamine Addictive?
At the doses used in clinical treatment for mental health conditions, ketamine has not shown to be addictive.
Ketamine is classified as a DEA schedule III substance, which means that it has minor potential for abuse. It is known in some circles as a “club drug” and can be used recreationally, at high doses, for the sole purpose of creating hallucinatory and out-of-body experiences. Ketamine triggers the production of dopamine, which is linked to the brain’s reward system. In uncontrolled environments, some users may develop dependence.
Should I Continue My Current Treatment Plan?
While undergoing a course of ketamine infusions, patients typically continue their prescribed psychiatric medication or talk therapy.
Our doctors will take your medical history and consult with your primary treatment team, to ensure that no other contraindicated medications or conditions are present.
Who Is Ineligible for Ketamine Therapy?
Those ineligible for ketamine treatments include pregnant or nursing mothers, those with certain conditions including uncontrolled hypertension, as well those with dissociative or psychotic disorders or who are currently in a manic or mixed episode.
Also ineligible are those currently taking certain anxiety medications, opiates, or marijuana.
How Much Will Ketamine Treatments Cost?
Ketamine Infusion Program (KIP): For our standalone ketamine infusion program, we bill for intake consultations per health insurance. Each infusion sessions costs $650, for a total of 6 sessions.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy (KIT): Costs for our infusion and psychotherapy plan vary according to provider. Please discuss details directly with your therapist.
We welcome payment via check and credit card.
Does Research Support the Use of Ketamine?
There is serious scholarly research behind this treatment, which means controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies at major institutions. Scientists at Yale pioneered ketamine research nearly 20 years ago and published the first major study in 2000. Since then, over 75 ketamine studies have been conducted at Yale and other major institutions including the NIH, the VA, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mt. Sinai Medical School, Oxford University, and many more around the world.
Please visit our Resources page for links to these studies, as well as videos and well-researched news articles.