Ketamine: A Brief Introduction

“Ketamine, what is this stuff, anyway?”

Ketamine can be used as:

-A surgical anesthetic

-A veterinary tranquilizer

-An analgesic in chronic pain patients as an alternative to opioids/narcotics

-In emergency room settings

-As a last resort to intubation for folks suffering with a severe asthma exacerbation in the ER

-Off-label, at ultra-low doses for a myriad of psychiatric conditions (see below)

Who might benefit from ketamine infusion therapy?

-People 18 and over who have struggled with: different types of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder

-People who have not received good benefit from psychiatric medications

-People who have had severe allergic reactions to psychiatric medications

-People who have had serious intolerable or life-threatening side effects to psychiatric medications

-People who have chronic pain conditions in addition to psychiatric struggles

What is it NOT?

– IT IS NOT a panacea or cure-all: while ketamine may help to alleviate your symptoms, it does not change how you might respond to difficult situations, people, or environments. Ketamine may make difficult decisions easier when it clears the “brain fog,” it may help certain people avoid addictive substances, and it could even make healthier choices more commonplace.

-IT IS NOT a replacement for therapy: because of your genetics, your family of origin environment, life-altering circumstances, or any history of trauma, you may have developed certain filters/ways of thinking/poor coping skills/unhealthy habits that don’t necessarily go away overnight. “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” –Albert Einstein. Having an outside “third party” opinion to see your behavioral patterns more objectively is always a plus, especially when you are going through stressful times.

-IT IS NOT a replacement for your psychiatric medications. While undergoing infusions, it is SO VERY IMPORTANT to continue taking your current medications without changing them. It helps us to know that the ketamine is working and it’s not just a side effect of you getting onto, or off of other meds. Over time, you may be able to work with your psychiatrist or provider to wean down/off of certain meds, or even change to a medication regimen that has a lower side effect profile, but it’s really important to discuss that with your provider.

For whom would ketamine treatment be less beneficial?

-Anyone taking benzodiazepines (Klonopin/clonazepam, Valium/diazepam, Ativan/lorazepam, Xanax/alprazolam) who could not do without them during the days of treatment.

-Anyone taking prescription or recreational opioid/painkillers/narcotic analgesics/marijuana/alcohol on a daily basis who could not do without them during the days of treatment.

-Anyone who is currently taking carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampicin.

-Anyone who is taking over 200mg of Lamictal/lamotrigine daily.

-Anyone over the age of 65 with severe cardiovascular compromise (congestive heart failure, recent heart attack or stroke, blood pressure that cannot be controlled with medicine, or end-stage renal disease).

-Anyone who has the disease porphyria.

-Anyone who has diseases that increase intraocular or intracranial pressure (certain tumors, glaucoma, pseudotumor cerebrii).

-Anyone who suffers from active psychosis (including but not limited to: delusions, hallucinations, schizophrenia, major depression with psychotic features, bipolar mania/depression with psychosis) for whom their antipsychotic medication is not working.

-Anyone who is currently pregnant or nursing.

-Anyone who has had an anaphylactic reaction or malignant hyperthermic reaction to ketamine or other anesthetic-type drugs.

How do I go about getting my questions answered or scheduling if I am interested in this treatment?

Call Neuragain at (513) 802-9944, or contact us.


Disclaimer: the knowledge contained within this document is for educational purposes only and should not replace the advice from your own personal medical professional.

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