First-Time to Ketamine IV in Albuquerque? Here’s an Easy Walk-Through of this Promising Therapy

Last updated: July 17, 2020
Ketamine Infusion ABQ

Albuquerque, NM: The Injection and Infusion Clinic walks you through the whole ketamine therapy. Know how it’s like before, during, and after your session

Are you new to the whole idea of Ketamine IV?

Are you looking to find more evidence-based research on how it can help with your Treatment-Resistant Depression, Chronic Pain, PTSD, Postpartum Depression and other mental health concerns? Do you want to get relief from the impacts of Severe Depression?

Basic information about Ketamine as an aid for Severe or Treatment-Resistant Depression

Ketamine is used as an analgesic, which relieves pain. It’s also an anesthetic, which induces dissociation and produces relaxation.Because of these effects, it has been used as a therapy to manage the symptoms of Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). A lot of studies have been conducted to test its safety and efficacy for TRD

One of these studies is a review citing the results of 24 cases published in PubMed/Medline and ScienceDirect. A total of 416 people who suffered from Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) were subjects of the cases. The review reveals it can be an option as an antidepressant with its psychomimetic properties (Serafini et al., 2014).

In May 2020, a study validated the efficacy of ketamine intravenous infusion therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden used positron emission therapy (PET) to scan the brains of 30 people who received it in a low-dose form. For the first time, the researchers identified serotonin 1B receptors as the target of ketamine. Ketamine increased serotonin, a chemical in the body, which is responsible for mood regulation (Karolinski Institutet, 2020).

What Happens in a Pre-Ketamine IV consultation

Before you begin your Ketamine IV therapy, you must first complete a consultation. Our healthcare provider will check your diagnosis, comorbidities and complete a quick exam.This consultation determines whether Ketamine is appropriate for your individual case and whether Ketamine is a safe choice for you. 

During the consultation, we will ask about your diagnosis, chronic conditions, and medication history.

Listing all of the medications and treatments you have tried is very important in qualifying you for ketamine. During your consultation, we will ask about past medications, their effects, lack of effects or side effects. 

Our healthcare provider will also look into the drug-drug interactions, which is rare with ketamine. Use of lamotrigine or Lamictal and cannabis have been determined to blunt the effects of ketamine. If either applied, we discuss how we manage this during your consultation.

Finally, we will review your medical history and current chronic conditions, if any. Thankfully, this procedure is extremely safe and there are very few conditions that make ketamine unsafe. Uncontrolled hypertension is one of them, so make sure you get your blood pressure treated!

What Typically Happens in Your First Ketamine IV Appointment

This procedure is performed by a trained healthcare provider. It’s not only your physical aspect that needs attention, but also your psychological state. You will be presented with baseline and ongoing questionnaires during your therapy.  It is important that you complete these.

  • For your privacy, you will be in a private room or curtained area. The room is dimly lit and we encourage headphones with your own soothing music for a relaxed experience.
  • Your therapy dosage will be based on your weight to ensure its efficacy. The whole therapy session will take about 40 minutes to one hour.
  • You will feel a sense of calm as you receive ketamine IV infusion. But, there is a chance you may feel tired after the therapy. You may be allowed to have a loved one beside you for emotional support and comfort during the procedure.  Many first-timers want this additional support, but eventually prefer to take their ketamine journey alone.  It is important that the loved on understand they shouldn’t talk or engage you during the infusion because it decreases your ability to dissociate.  They should be prepared to sit quietly next to you and only engage if you engage them.
  • Your healthcare provider will be nearby at all times in case you need anything. They are also trained in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) if the need arises. This is not to scare you, but to let you know you’re in good hands.

Many studies reveal that ketamine is well-tolerated by the body. One of these studies was about ketamine as an adjunct therapy to Treatment-Resistant Depression. They found out that people who participated in the study did well compared with those who took a placebo (Fava et al, 2018).

  • You will be monitored throughout your session. You may experience dizziness, headache, nausea, and blurred vision. There may also be a tendency for increased heart rate and blood pressure. We are well prepared to manage these common and temporary effects.
  • There is a 30-minute minimum recovery period after your infusion is complete. Most people are alert and ready to be discharged at this time. Some take a little longer. In addition to being alert, we confirm that your vital signs have returned to baseline before discharge. Most people feel fine after and some even go out to eat.
  • Prior to each infusion, we will assess the dose and confirm its effectiveness on you. At this time, you may give your inputs about how you felt about the therapy. Through this feedback, your healthcare provider will have a better evaluation of your progress.
  • A ride home is required and we encourage a trusted friend or family member. However, we do allow ride-shares to take you home. Many of our veteran patients do this, but most first-timers need the additional support of a loved one. At no time is driving yourself after an infusion allowed.

The Interventions Combined with Ketamine IV

Look into other interventions combined with Ketamine IV infusion therapy: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) or ketamine psychedelic psychotherapy (KPP)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of cognitive therapy developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale. It incorporates meditation and breathing exercises, which draws its origins from mindfulness-based reduction (MSBR) by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979.

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

In a study of 235 patients, KAP was found to be an effective means for ebbing anxiety and depression, especially for the elderly who have severe symptoms (Dore et al., 2019). Moreover, the Ketamine Research Institute (KRIYA), Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, and the Ketamine Research Foundation have studied the positive effects of KAP.

According to KRIYA founder and psychologist, Racquel Bennet, ketamine acts in three ways (Velasquez-Manoff, 2018):

  1. It serves to relieve symptoms of depression and rids of irritations that negatively affect the therapy.
  2. The “shamanic” approach makes the person’s experience during therapy important to healing.
  3. The combination of both nos. 1 and 2, Ketamine corrects discrepancies in the neurological pathway and gains insights facilitated by a mental health professional.

Research on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

  • In a book, entitled Ketamine Papers, the editor Philip Wolfson elaborated on the use of this therapy for TRD and other related disorders. According to Wolfson in one of the chapters of the book, it induces “euphoric” states. In this state, a mental healthcare professional uses meditations and guided imagery to resolve past trauma or problems that led to depression (Ratan, 2017).
  • A comprehensive review also reveals the effectiveness of ketamine psychedelic psychotherapy, which was meant to guide psychiatrists in their practice (Kolp, et al., 2014). It has beneficial effects which include promoting positive psychological changes, developing personal growth and self-awareness, and inducing insights about existing problems (Kolp, et al, 2014). 
  • The goal of KAP or KPP for you is to have an effective healing experience. This is by preparing yourself and being able to manage the new experience. At the end of the therapy, you can gain insights that you can discuss with your healthcare provider. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider since higher doses are needed to produce these desired effects.

Ketamine IV at The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ

For more information, call the Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ at 505-445-4300 or visit our page to book an appointment! We would be happy to assist you!

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