What is ketamine?
Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic drug used frequently in hospital settings. For treating depression and suicidal thoughts, although not FDA-approved, in significantly smaller doses, ketamine has a powerful effect in treating people with acute depression and anxiety. IV ketamine is fast acting and considered a go-to modality for people with severe depression and suicidal ideation. Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions offers highly personalized IV ketamine treatments.
IV (intravenous) ketamine treatment delivers a customized dose of ketamine directly into your bloodstream with an infusion that lasts 40 - 60 minutes.
Ketamine works quickly to reduce negative feelings and boost your mood. Its fast-acting effects offer an advantage over many psychiatric medications, which typically take 4-6 weeks to start working.
Who might benefit from IV ketamine?
IV ketamine can be an effective treatment for patients struggling with:
- Treatment Resistant Depression
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder with suicidal ideation
- Bipolar depression*
- Eating disorders*
*Dr. Giles does not do medication management for these disorders. IV ketamine treatment is offered in conjunction with your primary psychiatrist for PTSD, OCD, and eating disorders.
IV ketamine offers an innovative option for patients with moderate to severe depression, treatment-resistant depression, and depression with anxiety who have not responded to medication and therapy alone.
What does IV ketamine therapy involve?
IV ketamine infusions involve placing a needle in an arm vein. The needle attaches to a tube called a catheter, which in turn connects to a bag of ketamine solution. The ketamine drips steadily down the catheter and into your arm over 40-60 minutes.
Dr. Giles uses doses of ketamine that are much lower than those used for anesthesia, so you will remain awake; however, you may notice mild dissociative feelings.
You might experience side effects from your ketamine therapy such as mild nausea or dizziness. If you do, these feelings usually pass, however, if they are uncomfortable, Dr. Giles has medication to treat them. A qualified staff member supervises you at all times throughout the treatment.
In the induction phase, IV ketamine infusions are administered 2-3 times per week for 2-3 weeks. At Breakthru, we strongly encourage our patients to follow the induction phase with a 6 treatment taper protocol over 6-12 weeks. This is done to support each patient’s unique response and remission. While the effects of ketamine do not typically last longer than one month, Dr. Giles can utilize other strategies such as pharmacogenetic testing for medication changes or the implementation of TMS to significantly extend the effect.
To find out how ketamine can improve your depression, call Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions today or request an appointment online.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is IV ketamine covered by insurance?
IV ketamine is not covered by insurance since ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression.
What are common side effects?
Ketamine may cause mild side effects of nausea, headache, dizziness, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and dissociation, which are temporary and only occur during infusion.
Can I receive IV ketamine treatments in conjunction with Spravato or TMS treatments?
While waiting for prior authorization from insurance companies for TMS or Spravato, we often start patients with IV ketamine as a way to quickly and effectively address the most severe symptoms of chronic depression.
How long am I in the clinic?
Most patients are in the clinic for 2 hours/treatment.
Can I drive home afterwards?
No, you need someone to drive you home because ketamine can impair your reaction time. You can drive after a good night sleep
Is somebody with me for the entirety of the treatment?
Our clinical staff observes and supports our patients 100% of the time during treatments. Most patients request that clinicians are not in the room for the duration of treatment; however, patients are always continuously monitored.
Does a physician have to be present to administer ketamine?
In the state of Georgia, a physician must be present for all infusions. At Breakthru, not only is a physician present, but a psychiatrist is present for all infusions.
What is the difference between IV ketamine and Spravato?
When considering interventional treatments for chronic, treatment resistant depression, it can be overwhelming to tease apart all the important details. We’ve put together an easy comparison chart to help you see the facts quickly and easily. You can download it here.
Can I do ketamine treatments at home?
In recent years, ketamine has exploded onto the mental health scene due in large part to a groundswell of positive scientific studies. However, not all forms of ketamine are equally effective or safe. Dr. Giles highlights the different forms of ketamine currently available and the current medical findings associated with taking ketamine at home in this blog post.