Ketamine infusions are provided on an outpatient basis.
While it is recommended that a psychiatrist remain involved in the care of the patient, any physician or licensed mental health care professional can refer the individual.
The treatment is generally reserved for severe depression that has not responded satisfactorily to the use of drugs, psychotherapy, ECT, TMS, etc.
There is an excellent chance that Ketamine infusion treatment will help individuals who suffer from severe depression that has not responded to standard therapy. The initial treatments will allow the physician to determine if they are working. Generally, a physician assesses the patient for any adequate response within the first two or three treatments.
If the patient has never received a prior infusion of Ketamine for severe depression, an initial series of six treatments is recommended. This is provided typically over a period of 10-12 days, and if the response is favorable after the first couple of infusions, then a total of six treatments is recommended. Thereafter, a booster program is recommended which involves a single infusion given approximately every 4-6 weeks. Treatments are based on individual needs.
The dose that is infused is a subanesthetic dose. It takes approximately 45 minutes. During the period of infusion, patients may experience a slightly dissociated state that is not unpleasant, and there may be a slight alteration in the thought process, and any such symptoms generally terminate within 15-30 minutes following the completion of infusion.
It’s highly recommended that patients remain under the care of their psychiatrist or other licensed mental health care professionals. It’s important to continue with antidepressant medications prescribed by those professionals.
The continued use of antdepressive medications won’t interefere with Ketamine treatment.
There are few, if any, conditions that exclude patients from Ketamine infusion treatment; however, if the patient is in active cardiac failure or suffering from very severe and uncontrolled high blood pressure, those medical conditions need to be treated prior to receiving infusion therapy. Additionally, patients who are being actively treated for substance abuse, drug abuse, etc., would need to have those situations corrected prior to the Ketamine infusion therapy.