The anesthetic ketamine has spurred excitement in psychiatry for almost 20 years since researchers first showed that it alleviated depression in a matter of hours. The rapid reversal of symptoms contrasted sharply with the existing set of antidepressants, which take weeks to begin working. Subsequent studies have shown ketamine works for patients who have failed to respond to multiple other treatments and so are deemed “treatment-resistant.”
Despite this excitement, researchers still don’t know exactly how ketamine exerts its effects. A leading theory proposes that it stimulates regrowth of synapses (connections between neurons), effectively rewiring the brain.
Another reason ketamine has researchers excited is that it works differently than existing antidepressants. Rather than affecting one of the “monoamine” neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine), as standard antidepressants do, it acts on glutamate, the most common chemical messenger in the brain. Glutamate plays an important role in the changes synapses undergo in response to experiences that underlie learning and memory. That is why researchers suspected such neuroplasticity would lie at the heart of ketamine’s antidepressant effects.
Ketamine intravenous infusion therapy, which exhibits a 60%-70% success rate in clinical trials, has been shown to offer almost immediate relief (with minimal, if any, side effects) to those who suffer from severe mood disorders. For those patients who respond well to Ketamine, improvement is usually seen within one to two hours of receiving their first infusion, rather than weeks, or even months, as is the case with most traditional antidepressant medications.
Once you are medically approved for treatment, we will schedule your first series of treatments. The protocol and schedule for treatment differs between patients seeking relief from mental health conditions vs. chronic pain conditions.
Below is our Ketamine treatment protocol for mental health conditions including Depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Postpartum Depression, Migraines.
This period refers to the series of initial treatments which are condensed into one week. Most of our patients traveling long distances or from out of state. We usually do the first treatment Tuesday afternoon, with the next infusion Wednesday and Thursday morning. Depending on your arrival, we may schedule to start infusion on Wednesday with the last infusion on Friday.
Infusion Duration: From 40 minutes to one hour
Number of Treatments: 3-4 total (varies based on the results of your screening).
This period refers to all ongoing treatments thereafter Stabilization.
The maintenance schedule varies for each patient but the typical schedule begins approximately ten to eighteen days after the last Infusion treatment. The reTreat clinical staff will evaluate your progress closely afterward. The maintenance schedule varies based on the patient’s needs with the goal of progressing into longer intervals between treatments.
Once you are medically approved for treatment, we will schedule your first series of treatments. This Ketamine treatment protocol for chronic pain conditions including Neuropathic pain syndromes such as Fibromyalgia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
This period refers to the series of initial treatments which are condensed into a single week.
Infusion Duration: Three hours and forty-five minutes
Number of Treatments: 1-3 total (varies based on the results of your screening)
Length of Initial period: Within one week. We strongly encourage our patients to stay in our area for these infusions.
Typical Schedule: Three total treatments with appointments scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
The maintenance schedule varies for each patient, typically after two weeks with one or two consecutive treatments, depending on evaluate your progress. Then future treatments are based on remission and the patient’s need for additional treatments moving forward.