Ketamine Infusion Therapy

What is Ketamine Infusion IV Therapy?

What is Ketamine Infusion IV Therapy?

Mental health conditions, chronic pain, and autoimmune illnesses are widely prevalent throughout our nation. However, for many, traditional therapies and treatments may not be enough to keep these conditions from causing debilitation. And, living with these conditions can increase an individual’s chance at developing drug dependence due to self-medicating symptoms. In fact, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), up to 53% of individuals studied to conduct addictive behaviors were also diagnosed with concurring mental health conditions. To allow patients a better way to manage symptoms of their conditions, Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services offers a number of supportive therapies. One of these effective therapies is Ketamine Infusion Therapy.

Ketamine is a medical anesthetic which was first introduced to patients in 1970. At first, due to its effects of subconsciousness in larger doses, it was utilized by anesthesiologists in the veterinary field. However, since its introduction into medicine, there have been a number of other benefits and uses for this substance. Mainly, its capacity to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Ketamine Infusion Therapy uses an IV to administer low doses of ketamine to patients who may not have had success with alternative therapies.

How Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Work?

Basically, once administered to the bloodstream, ketamine works to stop pain signaling in the brain (NMDA antagonism). It does this by blocking the NMDA receptor, which is responsible for the passing of ions that the brain responds to by prompting a person to experience pain. Whether pain is neuropathic, psychological, or chronic, Ketamine Infusion Therapy has proven to help patients experience a reduction of pain in as little as one session. However, most patients receive a number of treatments before they experience a complete reduction of chronic pain symptoms, anxiety, or depression.

Dealing with Addiction and Co-occurring Illness

Alternative methods of dealing with symptoms of co-occurring disorders is a must when seeking a lifestyle free from addictive behaviors and dependence. Here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, our mission is to help individuals living with chronic pain, mood disorders, and/or addiction establish healthier lifestyles and find relief from the symptoms of their conditions. One way we offer help to all these types of patients is Ketamine Infusion Therapy. Without means to treat co-occurring disorders, individuals are at a higher chance to relapse during their recovery. And, return to using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their condition. Ketamine Infusion Therapy allows individuals to get the treatment they need without having to resort to illicit substances and addictive behaviors.

When other Treatments Don’t Work

Apart from those affected by dependence who need to establish alternative methods of dealing with symptoms of mental health, chronic pain, and autoimmune diseases, we also help those who don’t respond to other therapies. Often, individuals may not get the help they need or expect from antidepressants, behavioral therapy, or other treatments. And, may be looking for another way to suppress the symptoms of their conditions. For these individuals, Ketamine Infusion Therapy is available and effective in reducing symptoms traditional therapies may not work to address.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Acts Fast and Provides Lasting Results

Most patients who experience ketamine infusion therapy report immediate relief from symptoms due to various mood disorders and chronic pain.

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Many people don’t experience relief for chronic pain or mood disorders with traditional treatments. For these individuals, ketamine infusion therapy may be the next line of defense against debilitating symptoms. But, because ketamine contains addictive properties and is not a treatment most physicians choose to offer as a first line of defense, many might assume this therapy is not effective or beneficial. However, ketamine infusion therapy is effective and helps individuals gain the relief they need to establish healthier lifestyles, go about daily tasks, and live a more quality life.

Ketamine Infusion Allows Immediate Results

Undeniably, one of the greatest benefits of utilizing ketamine infusion therapy is the immediate results it allows for both chronic pain and mood disorder patients. While most antidepressants and even some chronic pain approaches may take weeks to provide results, ketamine infusion provides results immediately. Obviously, this is a great asset to those seeking immediate relief from pain, depression, or other mood disorder symptoms. Plus, the longer someone remains in a depressive state or deals with symptoms of chronic pain, the higher their chances to self-medicate with illicit drugs. Or, find other self-harming ways to relieve symptoms.

Helping People where Other Treatments Fail

According to studies, ketamine infusions are helping people who haven’t been helped by alternative treatments. For example, one study highlights individuals diagnosed with depression that isn’t responding to antidepressant medications. These individuals saw a decrease in depressive symptoms immediately, even though they haven’t seen a decrease in these symptoms from other treatments. This is just one example of how ketamine can be used to address issues other treatments may not address.

Chronic Pain

Dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis is debilitating and can lead to self-medication, the development of depression and other mood disorders, and an overall negative outlook on life. However, for individuals who do not experience relief from other treatments, ketamine infusion therapy can help to reduce symptoms of chronic pain. This way, individuals living with chronic pain can manage their symptoms and live a life of better wellbeing.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy may Help Chronic Pain Pain Patients Diagnosed with:

Mood Disorders

When traditional antipsychotic medications don’t work, individuals diagnosed with mood disorders may turn to illicit drugs to self-medicate, misuse prescriptions, and/or experience no relief from the symptoms of their conditions. However, many individuals diagnosed with mood disorders are finding relief from debilitating symptoms with ketamine infusion therapy.

Symptoms of mood disorder ketamine infusion therapy may help to reduce may include:

How it Works & What to Expect

Ketamine, while it has always had its place in the medical industry, has a reputation for illicit use in the club scene. So, it’s hard for some people to imagine that this substance can be used for good in the medical world. However, unlike the recreational use of ketamine, ketamine infusion therapy uses an IV to administer the substance. By using an IV, the amount of ketamine entering the bloodstream is both minimal and controlled. This way, while a patient can certainly experience the relaxing effects of ketamine, it is not dangerous. Nor will individuals experience the extreme effects of this substance like hallucinations or loss of sense as they might when using ketamine in high doses.

Additionally, another major concern that individuals have about ketamine infusion therapy is that ketamine may be addictive. Or, that the body may become dependent upon ketamine as a result of these therapies. However, individuals begin to experience the benefits of these treatments immediately. And, may only require a few treatments to get the results they require. So, because these infusions are in a controlled environment, monitored by medical professionals, and provided on a scheduled timeline, the risk for danger and developed tolerance is minimal.

How Ketamine Infusion Therapy Works to Provide Relief

Low-dose, intravenous ketamine infusions done under the supervision of medical professionals can work to decrease symptoms of mood disorders and even chronic pain due to what happens in the brain. Basically, individuals diagnosed with long-term mood disorders are known to have a glutamate neurotransmitter imbalance. Glutamate is responsible for a number of neuron responses and works with another neurotransmitter, GABA. These two neurotransmitters help to increase the form of neuron connections which result in a healthy nervous system. However, those with a glutamate deficiency don’t receive the stimulation needed to provoke neuron connections and maintain a healthy functioning nervous system. So, this imbalance of glutamate results in anxiety, depression, overstimulation, lack of focus, and a number of other effects.

Basically, ketamine works to address these effects by working as an NMDA receptor antagonist. The NMDA receptor is one of three main glutamate receptors of the brain. By using ketamine to block this receptor, the brain can maintain healthy glutamate levels. And, individuals don’t experience the negative effects of a lack of glutamate.  

What to Expect from Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Those who come to us never having experienced a Ketamine Infusion IV have many questions as to what it’s like and what to expect. Our goal is to make our patients feel comfortable with their pain and mood disorder management therapies. So, we provide all the information a person considering this type of treatment may need to establish comfort with moving forward. If you think Ketamine Infusion IV therapy may help you, it’s best to ask all of your questions of our experienced physician beforehand. And, conduct your own research as to whether or not you’re comfortable with this type of therapeutic approach. This way, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your health, your lifestyle, and your quality of life.

What to Expect Before Ketamine Infusion Therapy IV Treatment

Before you can experience the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy, there are a few things you can expect from Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services. Some things you can expect from us include:

Consultation: Before determining the best treatment or therapies to address your needs, you can expect a consultation with our medical specialists and physician, Dr. Daniel Smeester. With years of experience in providing chronic pain alternatives and mental health solutions, we understand how to address a number of patient needs. And, develop an in-depth treatment plan to specifically confront unique patient needs and past history of pain and mood disorders. During your initial consultation, we will ask you a number of questions to get an idea of your needs to best consider if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you.

Comfort: Here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, we understand that patients come to us seeking relief. So, we try our best to provide a comforting environment for therapy sessions. Also, we offer support from our team of highly trained specialists during every therapy session to make sure each patient is as comfortable as possible.

Privacy: Ketamine infusion therapy is done in seclusion to offer patients privacy and comfort during this treatment. Sessions are held in private rooms to allow patients to be able to relax and remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure. 

What to Expect from the Therapy Procedure Itself

If you’ve ever had your blood taken or needed an IV, you already know what to expect as far as the IV procedure. Basically, the only sensation of pain during the process is the insertion of the IV needle. However, this usually only requires one attempt and takes seconds to complete. Once the needle is inserted, the medication is introduced into the bloodstream. And, most patients report a cold feeling as the medication enters the vein. While receiving the medication, our medical staff oversees all patients and make sure vitals are optimal. Additionally, to make sure each patient is as comfortable as possible. Once the medication has been administered, the IV needle is retracted from the vein. And, a cotton swab and bandage may be placed at the point of insertion until light bleeding concludes.

What to Expect After Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Because the amount of ketamine used in this type of therapy is much less than that of what recreational users might use, patients don’t have to expect unconsciousness or a high that makes one “trip”. Although, you may feel tired, relaxed, and somewhat sedated. For these reasons, it’s best to plan for transportation before coming in for treatment. As for side effects, patients may not experience any. However, some patients do experience side effects including:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Dissociation
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Heightened anxiety or nervousness
  • Feeling of warmth

During a treatment, patients are monitored for experienced side effects. This way, any side effects can be addressed by our medical staff. Before treatment, make sure to tell our doctor about any side effects you’ve experienced from previous medications. This may help to determine whether or not this treatment may be right for you. And, help to prevent any uncomfortable side effects.

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    Scientific Research

    Research is continually proving the effectiveness in keatmine infusion therapy for the treatment of mood disorders and chronic pain due to a number of ailments and nerve-related conditions.