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What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was first introduced into clinical practice in the 1960's and continues to be clinically useful and scientifically fascinating.  First put into clinical practice as an anesthetic for surgery in Belgium, it has become one of the most researched compounds in the past 50 years.  It has be understood for decades that ketamine is a powerful anesthetic with pain relieving properties, however research over the past decade has begun to shed light on the potential mental health benefits of ketamine infusions.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy refers to administration of ketamine via intravenous (I.V), intramuscular (IM) or intranasal routes for the treatment of a variety of mental health disorders.  This dose is considerably lower than those used for sedation during surgical procedures.  When administered in low doses it has been shown to provide dramatic and rapid improvement in depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, suicidality, addiction and OCD symptoms.  While most first line treatments for these conditions take six to eight weeks to show improvement, most patients report significant improvement within one to two hours of their first ketamine session. In fact, ketamine has been shown to be very beneficial in treatment resistant depression (TRD).

How Dose Ketamine Therapy Help Depression & Other Conditions?

The exact mechanism of the antidepressant effect of ketamine is complex and not fully explained yet by researchers.  However, there are several pathways that ketamine is thought to act upon that promote improved mental health.  The primary mechanism proposed is in the action of ketamine on the GABA and glutamate pathway.  Together, these two neurotransmitters form a complex balancing act with glutamate increasing electrical activity and GABA slowing or stopping the electrical activity.  It is believed that these two neurotransmitters play a key role in regulating the majority of brain activity, including mood.  Ketamine appears to trigger glutamate production, that subsequently prompts the brain to form new neural connections.  This allows the brain to create new pathways and gives patients the opportunity to develop more positive thoughts and behaviors.

What Conditions Is Ketamine Used  To Treat?

Ketamine is used for the off-label use of depression, anxiety, treatment resistant depression, OCD, PTSD, postpartum depression and thoughts of self harm.

Is Ketamine Therapy Safe?

Ketamine has been intensively study for decades has been shown to be safe in numerous clinical settings.  We further increase the safety profile of ketamine by infusing the lowest effective dose over one hour.  This ensures the lowest risk of side effects and complications, without compromising the effectiveness of the treatment.   

Will I Be Unconscious?

You will not be unconscious during your ketamine infusion session.  The dose used during the infusion is much lower than the dose used to sedate patients for surgery or procedures.  While you may fall asleep during your session, you will be easily arousable during the entire session.

How Will I Feel During My Infusion

The sensations experienced during a ketamine infusion varies from person to person.  However, some common experiences included deep relaxation or a floaty feeling, happy or euphoria, heightened senses and feeling little tipsy.  You will be closely monitored during the entire process and if you develop any anxiety or nausea our care team will reduce the dose and administer any additional medication to relieve these symptoms.

How Will I Feel Right After My Infusion

Once your infusion is complete, you will need to stay around the clinic for about 30 minutes.  During this observation period, our care team will be observing you to make sure your are ready to go home safely.  You should expect to feel tipsy or little "off" for several hours.  You should avoid driving for the remainder of the day.  We recommend taking it easy the rest of the day and avoid any activity that requires you to be fully alert until the next day.

How Will I Feel In The Days Following My Infusion?

In the days following your infusion, you will likely feel more hopeful and less anxious.  You should sense your depression and anxiety fading away and should generally have an increased sense of wellbeing and peace.

How Often Will I Need To Get A Ketamine Infusion?

The initial protocol is six infusions over a two to three week period, followed by booster infusions as needed.  The frequency of boosters are tailored to the individual needs of each patient.  Some patients may only need a booster every 3-4 months while other may require a boost every 4-6 weeks.

How Long Does The Infusion Take?

The infusion will take approximately 1 hour, plus you will need to be observed for at least 30 minutes after the completion of your treatment.  You will need to have someone available to drive you home after your infusion.

Ketamine Infusions Are Currently Only Offered At Our Albany Location.

The standard ketamine initiation protocol is 6 infusions perform over 2 - 3 weeks.  The initiation phase is then followed by "boosters" as needed.

The fee for each ketamine infusion is $319

Ketamine Initiation Package (6 Infusions) $1795

We recognize that ketamine therapy is costly, that is why we have partnered with Advance Care to provide our patients with flexible payment options.

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation
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