Is Ketamine Safe?
Updated: Jul 21
Are you wondering if Ketamine IV Infusion treatments for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain are safe? It is a valid question and if you are seeking to learn more, it is smart that you are searching for more information. As a Georgetown professor of over 20 years, and long-time researcher and expert in the area of anesthesia, pain management, and alternative medicine, I can tell you that Ketamine IV Infusion treatments for mood disorders and chronic pain are very safe when administered by highly trained anesthesia providers with Board Certifications. According to the World Health Organization, “Ketamine [is] one of the most essential medications due to its therapeutic effects and wide margin of safety.” Developed in the 1960s and approved for use in the United States in 1970, Ketamine works by inducing both hypnotic (sleep-inducing) and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Ketamine is deemed a complete anesthetic with minimal effects on cardiovascular function, respiratory drive, and airway reflexes. It is used extensively for pediatric and adult treatment in surgery, emergency departments, trauma medicine, and war zones.
The critical thing to consider here is that any medication can be unsafe if abused, and other medications are certainly less understood and studied than others, but Ketamine is well understood and there is a strong amount of research supporting its use. In fact, many Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have conducted extensive research on stress and impacts on the brain including depression and anxiety and have found Ketamine to be highly effective, therapeutic, and non-addictive, which I believe are three of the most critical factors supporting its clinical use for mood disorders and chronic pain.
What Ketamine IV Infusions are not
If you are considering Ketamine IV Infusion treatment for a mood disorder or chronic pain, it is important to understand what Ketamine treatment is not. At this point, you may have already done a bit of reading and come across news stories about the illegal use of Ketamine as a street drug, most commonly known and Special K. Certainly, illegal recreational use is a different topic all together, and like any other drug can be dangerous when abused. Opioids are an excellent example of how misuse can go badly awry. In terms of Ketamine IV Infusion treatments for mood disorders and chronic pain, there are a few considerations. First, you must work with a highly trained anesthesia provider with Board Certifications in order to determine if Ketamine treatments are right for you. Second, you must have a clinical need for Ketamine treatment. Third, Ketamine IV Infusions are administrated on site and monitored, as in you will not be picking up a prescription and therefore will not be responsible for administrating your own medication. Four, Ketamine unlike opioids, is not associated with any physically addictive properties making it a safe solution for difficult-to-treat conditions such as major depression, refractory depression, PTSD, OCD, Bipolar disorder, and/or chronic pain that are often resistant to other forms of treatment.
The ideal candidate for Ketamine IV Infusion
The ideal candidate for Ketamine IV Infusion treatments is typically a patient that has tried many other forms of treatment without success. Ketamine can often be the difference in a patient resuming a normal and healthy lifestyle, which usually they had not thought possible because of a history of successive treatment failures. For many, Ketamine IV Infusion treatments restore hope. In fact, in the last decade, there has been mounting evidence that up to 80% of patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression have benefitted from Ketamine infusions.
A few other considerations for ideal candidates include:
Patients 18 years or older
No uncontrolled-medical conditions – such as hypertension or cardiac disease
Diagnosis of – major depression, refractory depression, PTSD, OCD, Bipolar disorder, and/or chronic pain, and be resistant to other treatments, such as medications.
Under the care of a current mental health provider
Have no history of difficult IV insertions.
Where to go from here
If you are considering Ketamine IV Infusion treatment for the treatment of mood disorders or chronic pain it is critical that you read articles such as this so that you can better determine if Ketamine IV Infusion treatment is right for you. Additionally, I highly recommend that you schedule a free consultation with a licensed provider and come prepared with questions. Unfortunately, at this time, Ketamine IV Infusion treatment for mood disorders and chronic pain is not covered by insurance, yet… At this time, your best bet is to find a competitively priced clinic in the Washington D.C. area that offers Advance Care or CareCredit payment options in addition to accepting other forms of payment. Of course, we would be remiss without saying that Avesta Ketamine and Wellness fully supports and offers everything outlined in the above article, however, we firmly believe that patient trust and comfort come first and we invite you to come in and see us for a consultation to find out for yourself if Ketamine IV Infusions are right for you.
If you would like to learn more about Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, please review our About Us page our Ketamine For Mood Disorders page. Also, follow us on our new Facebook page for updates, tips, ideas and more.