Ketamine Infusion Therapy NYC

Depression, in any shape or form, is more than just feeling unhappy or sad. These feelings not only last longer in those suffering from depression but also feel more intense; to an extent where one is unable to enjoy things or activities they did before and even struggling with simple day to day activities.

Ketamine infusion therapy is helping those suffering from this and a number of other mental disorders regain control of their lives with minimal side effects and in a shorter amount of time than traditional treatments.

While this outpatient treatment procedure only takes about an hour, per infusion, its effects are pronounced and long lasting. Read on below to find out everything you need to know about ketamine infusion therapy.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine has been used in the medical field, on both children and adults since the seventies. The drug which was developed by Parke Davis has been one of the most effective, FDA approved, anesthetics for decades. Popularly described as a dissociative anesthetic, the substance basically acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist.

However, in recent years, this drug has been found to be useful in the treatment of depression and a variety of closely related mental disorders that have been found to be resistant to existing treatments. In addition to a variety of mood disorders, ketamine has been found to be effective in treating chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

During ketamine infusion therapy, low dose ketamine is administered to patients depending on their medical requirements via IV.

One of the main benefits of ketamine infusion therapy over existing options is the fact that its effects are usually felt in a matter of hours. Most of the existing treatments take longer to build up in the body and thus create any noticeable effects. Ketamine’s fast acting nature is mainly attributed to the fact that it works in a completely different way to traditional antidepressants; the drug facilitates neuro-regeneration and neuro-plasticity as it leaves the body. In persons suffering from severe depression coupled with suicidal ideations, ketamine’s fast acting nature can be life saving to say the least.

Furthermore, under supervised medical care, the use of low dose ketamine to treat depression also comes with minimal side effects.
For persons suffering from various forms of depression, including cases that are resistant to traditional treatment methods, ketamine infusion therapy represents a new, effective and safer treatment option.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Treatments

Ketamine infusion therapy has been found to be highly effective in treating the following forms of depression and mental disorders:

Major/Clinical Depression

As one of the main forms of depression, clinical/major depression can affect many aspects of a person’s life; and at its worst can lead to suicidal thoughts. As a more severe and longer lasting form of sadness, it can come in the way of leading a normal life, day after day.

To be diagnosed with major or clinical depression, one must be found to have experienced a number of specific symptoms for a minimum period of two weeks. These symptoms must not be associated with any other underlying medical cause, and must be serious enough to result in a significant level of distress or come in the way of normal functioning in life. Two of the main symptoms of major depression include a lack of interest in previously gratifying activities and a generally depressed mood for most of the day.

When it comes to the treatment of major/clinical depression, ketamine infusion therapy is charting the way forward. In addition to providing fast acting and lasting health benefits, it also eliminates the risk of suffering long lasting side effects associated with traditional antidepressants.

Bipolar Depression

People suffering from bipolar disorder usually experience the normal ups and downs of life with a heightened level of intensity. In the past, bipolar depression, which marks the depressive stage of the disorder, was mistakenly identified as unipolar depression. This also led to the adoption of an inaccurate treatment approach according to the findings of mounting research studies.

Depression is only one half of the bipolar disorder. The stage is characterized by symptoms of significantly low energy, feelings of sadness and emptiness and suicidal thoughts among others. To properly diagnose bipolar depression, and thus treat it, medical professionals must also identify past periods of manic or hypo-manic behavior in patients as well.

The difficult nature of accurately diagnosing bipolar depression makes its treatment all the more challenging. The use of antidepressants for instance may worsen a patient’s condition. With traditional treatment approaches calling for a challenging balancing act between the use of various medications and psychotherapies, or electro-convulsive therapy – as a last resort – , ketamine infusion therapy is being seen as the way of the future. It promises higher success rates – over 70 percent – even for treatment resistant bipolar depression.

Suicidal Ideations

A complex combination of environmental, mental, genetic and physical factors likely to come about during financial, family or personal disasters associated with loss or shame may trigger suicidal ideations. The phrase “suicidal ideations” refers to plans or thoughts to bring one’s life to an end, without actually doing it. It is however worth noting that that while some individuals with suicidal ideations never attempt suicide, some may do it.

While some traditional treatments may actually worsen the a patient’s suicidal ideations, ketamine infusion therapy has been observed to help eliminate such thoughts in people suffering from depression faster, just a matter of hours, according to research findings published by the American Journal of Psychiatry. Furthermore, the effects of this revolutionary treatment have been seen to last longer, at least six weeks.

Postpartum Depression

The close bond between a mother and their new born can be strained to life threatening proportions by postpartum depression. While it is estimated that up to 10 percent of new mothers suffer from this condition, the figure might be higher according to experts. Postpartum baby blues are experienced by between 40 and 80 percent of all new mothers. However, where the feelings of worry, unhappiness, self doubt, episodes of crying and sleep issues, which start after around 3 days after delivery, last for more than two weeks – and grow in intensity – this may be a sign of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression may in rare cases develop into postpartum psychosis. Immediate treatment is required for the latter as it may lead to life threatening behavior.

In addition to being highly effective in treating postpartum depression, ketamine infusion therapy also eliminates the risk of having Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors, present in some antidepressants, making their way into breast milk.

In addition to the above described forms of depression, ketamine infusion therapy is also used to effectively treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and severe anxiety.

What To Expect

Ketamine infusion therapy works to effectively treat various forms of depression in a safer and faster way than traditional treatments; at least, this much is clear from the above. In fact, some patients start feeling hopeful, calmer and experience an increased level of functionality in just a matter of hours after infusion. In general, most patients will find that meeting and socializing with friends, handling their daily grooming and other day to day tasks become much easier two to three days after infusion.

A full course of ketamine treatment for depression takes about six infusions spread out over a two to three week period. While most patients experience positive results after just two to three infusions, the therapy ceases if no change is observed after at this point. For those showing positive changes, treatment continues until the sixth infusion for the maximum health benefits, for as long as possible.

After the initial infusion therapy treatment is successfully administered, each patient is required to take booster infusions to maintain their neuroplasticity and continue to drive their recovery.

Furthermore, each patient is encouraged to take advantage of their newly discovered neuroplasticity and openness and talk more with their mental health clinician.

Side Effects

While it is true that ketamine infusion therapy does not come with the same serious side effects associated with traditional treatment methods and medications, it does have some minor side effects. For starters, cases of nausea before and after the infusion procedure have been reported by some patients. Increased blood pressure and heart rate are also common among ketomine infusion patients. Fortunately, these side effects can be countered with the help of specific medications.

Patients may also feel a bit tired after infusion. As such, it is recommended that you avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for the rest of the day after an infusion.

While the extended abuse of ketamine has been linked with bladder damage, inflammation of the bladder to be exact, low dose ketamine infusion therapy has not been linked with any such cases.

Lastly, the use of low dose ketamine under professional medical supervision is not addictive.

All in all, there are no long term side effects linked with ketamine infusion therapy at this point in time.

Interaction Of Ketamine Infusion Therapy And Other Depression Medications

If you are taking other medications for your specific form of depression, it is essential that you notify your ketamine infusion therapy treatment provider before commencing treatment. While it is completely possible for patients to go in for infusions while taking other medications, some drugs may affect the effectiveness of ketamine in one way or the other. Your ketamine infusion therapy specialist should be able to advice you on how to take your medications especially before or after infusions for maximum health benefits.

FDA Approval

As previously stated, ketamine was approved for use as an anesthetic by the FDA back in the seventies. It is however yet to be approved for use in the treatment of depression. In fact, over the years, ketamine has been effectively used by established private hospitals and university hospitals as an off label treatment for chronic pain, depression and a variety of other closely related mood disorders.

It is however worth noting that ketamine is being fast tracked for approval by the FDA in the treatment of depression thanks to its high level of effectiveness.

Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy Covered By Insurance

Since the use of ketamine in the treatment of depression is yet to be approved by the FDA, insurance companies do not cover ketamine infusion as an in-network procedure. However, it is recommended that you contact your insurer to find out whether it is covered as an out of network benefit. If so, and depending on your insurance package, you might be entitled to a 50 to 90 percent reimbursement of the cost of the procedure.


Low dose ketamine infusion therapy is touted as the way forward when it comes to the fight against depression and a variety of mental disorders thanks to its fast acting nature, minimal side effects and effectiveness.

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