Safe Travels: How Many Ketamine Treatments Do I Need?

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Safe Travels: How Many Ketamine Treatments Do I Need?

If you’re one of the many people who struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, you know how difficult it can be to find the right treatment. For some, traditional medication or therapy might not provide the results they need. For others, their mental health journey is lengthy, and they may experience only temporary relief from their symptoms. 

This is where ketamine therapy comes in — a relatively new treatment for:

Dr. Karen Giles at Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions helps folks throughout Sandy Springs, Georgia, and beyond who suffer from treatment-resistant mental health issues by offering IV ketamine treatments

Ketamine can also complement medical treatments prescribed by your primary physician or psychiatrist for the above conditions, as well as bipolar depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and eating disorders. 

One of the questions patients often ask is how many ketamine treatments they need before they can achieve a stable state of mental wellness. In this blog, Dr. Giles discusses the number of ketamine treatments required and what you can expect during the treatment process.

The induction phase

The induction phase usually involves six treatments over the course of three weeks. In this phase, your ketamine treatments build neuroplasticity in your brain, so staying consistent is vital for your body’s response.

Each treatment takes roughly two hours — be prepared for some initial prep work, a 50-minute infusion, and integration time afterward. 

You must arrange to have someone drive you home after each treatment. 

You may begin to see immediate results during your induction phase. For example, you may experience mood improvements, higher energy levels, and overall mental well-being.

The maintenance phase

Once you’ve completed your induction phase, you move on to the maintenance phase. Every patient has different needs, and Dr. Giles works closely with you to determine the best maintenance schedule for you. 

It typically takes about 12 treatments to establish an effective maintenance schedule. Patients might start with a treatment every two weeks, then every three weeks and possibly every four weeks. The proper maintenance schedule can help to reduce the recurrence of depression and other associated issues. 

Dr. Giles pays close attention to your progress and adjusts your treatment regimen accordingly for optimal effectiveness and to keep costs down.

Your personal ketamine therapy experience

It is important to note that ketamine treatments aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Research has shown that ketamine’s effects are cumulative and long-lasting, with patients reporting relief from symptoms lasting beyond six months. However, to experience these long-term benefits, commitment to ketamine treatment is essential. Dr. Giles recommends staying consistent with your treatment schedule and avoiding skipping treatments.

During ketamine treatments, you’ll likely experience mild side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and sleepiness. These side effects usually subside quickly after treatment, but we advise you to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or making any major decisions for at least 24 hours after a treatment. 

During your ketamine therapy journey, pay close attention to symptoms that may signal depression and deteriorating mental health. Dr. Giles monitors you closely, watching out for early warning signs. Early intervention, when symptoms first appear, is essential in maintaining IV ketamine’s long-term benefits. At-home mood-tracking apps and counseling sessions can also help you stay on track and monitor your mental health.

To discover if IV ketamine therapy is right for you and what your treatment schedule might look like, request an appointment online, or call our Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions team at 470-231-2059.