Ketamine for depression is becoming a popular way to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders. While traditional antidepressants can take weeks or months to take effect, ketamine works rapidly—sometimes in as little as 1-2 hours after an initial infusion! This rapid-acting antidepressant effect has made ketamine for depression a highly desirable treatment options for those who are struggling.

However, ketamine is a relatively new depression treatment, and many people are nervous about what a ketamine infusion feels like. Below is an outline of what you can expect during your first ketamine infusions—there is nothing to be worried or nervous about:

Initial consultation. During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history, your medications, and your symptoms. You can ask questions and voice concerns, and our physicians are happy to answer and address them. During your consultation, we will develop a treatment plan including dosage amount, rate of administration and duration of infusion. 

Your first infusion. During your first ketamine infusion, you will be made comfortable in a private room where you can lay back and relax. We will apply monitors to help us ensure your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, and oxygen levels remain stable throughout the entire infusion. A small needle will be inserted into a vein in your arm, and we will connect you to an IV.  

You may feel cool liquid begin to enter your bloodstream once the infusion begins. A sense of deep relaxation will begin to set in almost immediately. You may also experience an “out of body” or dissociative sensation. Your mind will be active, but you may not have much sensation in your body. Many patients describe the feeling as happy and euphoric. You will be awake and alert during your infusion, though most patients choose to relax and listen to music rather than socialize with friends or family. Ketamine for depression will last about 45-minutes, while chronic pain infusions may be as long as 4-hours.

After your infusion ends, we will monitor you for about 30-minutes before releasing you into the care of a loved one. You may not drive or operate heavy machinery for 24-hours post infusion.

Because of ketamine’s reputation as a recreational drug, many people are worried about the side effects of ketamine. However, ketamine for depression is administered in sub-anesthetic doses and in a highly controlled method. You will not feel “high” or “out of control.” The most common side effects are nausea and mild, non-threatening hallucinations. If you experience nausea during your infusion, we can administer an anti-nausea medication along with your ketamine infusion.

The goal of ketamine for depression is to relieve your symptoms of depression. Enjoy the opportunity to relax and remove yourself from the sensations of physical and emotional pain that plague you on a daily basis. Your first ketamine infusion might be the first day of a brand new life for you—enjoy it!

Ready to Schedule a Free Consultation?

Contact Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center to learn more about ketamine for depression and chronic pain, and to find out if you are a candidate.