Preparing for a Ketamine Infusion
Patient Information and Instructions
To get the most out of your infusion experience, we have outlined some important information below about ketamine and what to expect during the actual infusion period, as well as the days/weeks following your infusion series.
Although ketamine has been around for more than 50 years as an anesthetic agent, intravenous (IV) ketamine infusion therapy is an exciting intervention that has gained recent attention for its antidepressant effects. Additional research has also been done using IV ketamine infusions for other treatment-resistant conditions such as PTSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and other chronic pain and mental health conditions. Patients receiving IV ketamine infusions typically report "feeling better" during the infusion experience and can often sustain that feeling well after the drug has been metabolized and eliminated from the body. "Feeling better" can be a subtle change, and you may notice an improvement in your day-to-day function before you notice an improvement in your mood.
Although ketamine can be administered in many forms (pills, creams, sprays, sublingual tablets, suppositories, intramuscular/intravenous injections, and as infusions), IV ketamine infusion therapy is the most common and most researched route of administration for treatment-resistant depression. Research for IV ketamine infusion therapy for PTSD, other mental health conditions and chronic pain is also emerging and demonstrating positive outcomes. Nevertheless, IV ketamine infusion therapy for any condition is currently considered an "off-label" treatment by the FDA. It is important to maintain a safe infusion environment for you in a monitored setting with a board-certified anesthesiologist providing direct treatment throughout the duration of your infusion and immediate recovery period until you are ready to be discharged home. In addition to maintaining a high level of safety and expertise during your infusion experience, we will also offer you a very relaxing and peaceful environment.
YOU MUST HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER TO DRIVE YOU HOME after a Ketamine Infusion.
Plan Ahead! A Designated Driver is Required
A good night’s sleep will be helpful, so avoid scheduling and infusion after a late night event.
What to Wear
Wear comfortable, loose clothing. Your shirt sleeves should be able to roll up above the elbow to get a small IV catheter placed for the infusion. We can vary the room temperature and provide you with pillows and blankets to maintain a comfortable temperature for you.
Take your regular morning medications unless your doctor specifies otherwise.
Food & Beverages
You may eat a light breakfast or snack up to 4 hours before your infusion (ex: coffee and toast) and clear liquids up to 2 hours before your infusion.
Arrival and Infusion Timing
Plan to arrive at your scheduled time for each infusion. You will spend approximately 15-20 minutes preparing for the infusion (physical exam, taking vital signs, ask questions, getting a small IV catheter placed).
Part of your infusion experience will also involve creating a peaceful and relaxing environment tailored to your sensory preferences (lighting, aromatherapy, noise-cancelling headphones/music of your choice, eye mask, TV/video and an adjustable recliner).
Infusions are typically 40-60 minutes long for treatment-resistant depression. Infusion times for other conditions may be a little longer, generally not to exceed 2 hours.