UncategorizedKetamine therapy is helping patients break free from depression, OCD, ADHD, anxiety and more

In the past five to seven years, ketamine as a treatment for treatment-resent depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD has exploded around the world. Ketamine clinics have sprung up across the country, and more and more patients are discovering its benefits every day. Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic since the early 1960s, and it found favor with military medics treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

At Certus, we have been offering Spravato™, a form of nasal-administered ketamine called esketamine, since we opened in 2017. This form of the drug is typically administered to patients who are suicidal or are challenged to take to their medication for severe depression as prescribed. We are one of the few practices in the area certified to administer this medication.

After seeing the positive results many patients realized with Spravato, we began looking into ketamine as a potential treatment for our patients. After reviewing numerous studies, we decided it would be a valuable tool to help with a number of conditions.

In conducting our own tests, we found the outcomes for many were very positive, and I invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our care providers or me to see if ketamine is right for you. In the meantime, I’ve put together the following Q&A for you to become better informed.

What is ketamine?

Ketamine was originally prescribed as an FDA-approved anesthetic for use on military battlefields and administered to wounded soldiers and in operating rooms.

Why does Certus only administer ketamine orally?

The administration of oral ketamine is less expensive and more convenient than intravenous administration. 

What conditions are treated with oral ketamine?

Ketamine can be especially helpful for patients with treatment-resistant conditions. Many patients turn to ketamine after exhausting other options.

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How does oral ketamine work?*

Ketamine works by blocking NMDA receptors in your brain. This effect can create pathways in your brain and generate new synapses. Creating new synapses improves the structure and function of your brain. Healthy synapses also allow your brain to develop positive thoughts and behaviors.

What results can I expect from ketamine therapy?**

Ketamine is generally fast-acting. Many patients notice an improvement within a few hours or days, but results may vary.

Will I hallucinate during ketamine therapy? 

The short answer is probably not. Every patient is different. In general, patients describe feeling like they are floating. You may experience mild visual hallucinations, such as seeing colors. Sometimes patients will think about important life events or subjects. Sometimes patients will focus on the calming or happy music they are listening to. The “funny feelings” fade away over the course of 20 or 30 minutes. This is all happening during treatment, but the effects on the condition being treated accumulate over time.

What are the side effects of ketamine?

During or within an hour after treatment, you may feel a little nausea or dizziness, which is relieved with time and can also be relieved with medications if appropriate. You may also experience elevated blood pressure, double vision, and potentially other side effects that we will review during your consultation.

You cannot drive after treatment, and if someone is not present at check-in to take you home, we will postpone your treatment.

Is ketamine therapy expensive?  

If your medical insurance covers office visits, your only expense will be the cost of the medication.

How many ketamine treatments will I need?

We typically anticipate two treatments per week for two weeks, followed by one treatment per week for two weeks. At this point, we evaluate your progress and determine how many additional treatments you may need.

The best way to learn if ketamine is right for you is to schedule an appointment with a Certus care provider.


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* https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ketamine-for-major-depression-new-tool-new-questions-2019052216673


** https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-01590-x

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