Ketamine Therapy

Learn more about the science behind ketamine therapy and whether it's right for you.

What is

The first clinically prescribed psychedelic medicine for the treatment of conditions like depression, PTSD, anxiety, substance abuse, chronic pain and other mood disorders, ketamine is a breakthrough drug in the fields of mental health and psychotherapy. Along with other emerging modalities, like transcranial magnetic stimulation, psilocybin and MDMA, ketamine therapy is revolutionizing the world of mental health and changing the ways we understand our minds.

Synthesized in 1962, ketamine quickly became recognized as an extremely safe and fast-acting general anesthesia and pain medication. It was originally FDA-approved in the 1970s and is still administered every day for acute care in hospitals to children, elderly and critically ill patients. Considered one of the safest forms of conscious sedation, ketamine is proven to have minimal risks. The World Health Organization classifies it an essential medication, and it remains the most widely used anesthetic worldwide.

Due to its mood enhancing capacity, ketamine’s potential for use in the treatment of psychiatric disorders was noted as early as the 1970s. During the 1990s, international researchers began to focus more seriously on ketamine as a mental health treatment. Since the early 2000s, the medical community has published a plethora of peer-reviewed scientific and clinical studies on ketamine as a treatment for mental health disorders. The results have been astonishing.

Several studies show a majority of patients, who did not respond to conventional antidepressants, reported significant improvement of depression symptoms and diminished suicidality within 24 hours of a single ketamine infusion. Subanesthetic doses of intravenous ketamine–doses far below the amount prescribed as anesthesia–have demonstrated rapid and sustained antidepressant and therapeutic effects for a range of psychiatric conditions. A systematic review of research and ketamine trials concludes that ketamine works to rapidly reverse symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain and suicidal thoughts in the majority of patients studied.

The emerging science on ketamine continues to support the life-changing potential of infusions for people who are suffering from depression, pain, and mood disorders.

How Does Ketamine Work?

Ketamine Stimulates Brain Healing

Ketamine works as an anesthetic by temporarily “dissociating” a person from their body, and can cause feelings of euphoria, visual and sensory impressions, and dreamlike thoughts. People often describe those experiences as colorful, filled with love or imbued with a spiritual quality.

When ketamine enters the bloodstream, it induces anesthesia and rapidly relieves pain by interacting with the NMDA, glutamate and opiate receptors in the brain. Unlike other antidepressants, ketamine’s effects on depression, mood disorders, chronic pain and a host of other mental illnesses are immediate and far outlast the drug’s lifespan in the body.

Scientists believe this is because ketamine helps your brain to grow new neural connections, a phenomenon known as synaptogenesis or neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity drives all learning–from walking for the first time to mastering a piano concerto. Neuroplasticity is how we change and grow. It’s how the brain heals itself.

As we age, our capacity for neuroplasticity wanes. In depression, the brain loses some of the neurons that it needs to function properly. This makes it harder to learn new things and engage with the world around us. Scientists theorize that the body’s reaction to ketamine causes the brain to regrow these neurons after even one dose.

Is Ketamine
for Me?

Intravenous ketamine therapy has shown some of the most promising results in treatment-resistant patients who do not respond to traditional antidepressants, talk therapy or electroconvulsive therapy. Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that IV ketamine infusion can rapidly improve depressive symptoms, including suicidal ideation. In many cases, its effects can be felt within a 30-40 minute period after the first infusion. And unlike more traditional psychiatric medications which can take 6-8 weeks to work, people often feel a difference after one or two sessions. IV ketamine therapy has been shown to relieve the symptoms of depression in 70-80% of cases.

Because of its success in treating depression, researchers have started to explore its use for other conditions. Initial studies have been promising, and doctors and clinicians have begun widespread use for many other conditions.

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, ketamine may be an effective treatment for you:

  • Major Depressive Disorder

  • Treatment Resistant Depression

  • Bipolar I or II

  • Insomnia

  • Postpartum Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Migraines

  • Suicidal Ideation

  • Dependence on alcohol or opioids

  • Body image issues and disordered eating

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Autism

  • Fibromyalgia