Ketamine

Ventura Center for Advanced Therapeutics

Ketamine Infusion Clinic & Anesthesiologist located in Camarillo, CA

At Ventura Center for Advanced Therapeutics in Camarillo, California, Dr. Stefany Wolfsohn and her dedicated team make the latest, safest, most effective treatments available to their patients. That includes ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, chronic pain, PTSD, and more. To learn more about this groundbreaking treatment, call or contact us to schedule a consultation.

Ketamine Q & A

What is ketamine?

Ketamine has been around for more than 50 years as an FDA-approved anesthetic agent and has a high safety profile. In March 2019, the FDA approved the ketamine nasal spray Spravato for treatment-resistant depression. Slow intravenous (IV) ketamine infusion therapy is an exciting intervention that has gained recent attention for its rapid-onset antidepressant effects and it’s being touted as one of the biggest breakthroughs in mental health disorders in recent years.

Ketamine works on different pathways in the brain compared to conventional antidepressants. Ketamine is believed to lead to neuroplasticity and affect new changes in the brain. Positive changes have been observed in areas of the brain involving memory, learning and executive functioning.

How is ketamine used?

Medical professionals are finding more and more uses for ketamine. 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 and other chronic mental health and pain conditions.

Some of the other areas where ketamine has been shown to be effective include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Migraines
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety

Dr. Wolfsohn uses ketamine to minimize the symptoms of what’s ailing her patients. And, in the case of mental health disorders, she uses this treatment to help her patients heal.

How is ketamine administered?

At Ventura Center for Advanced Therapeutics, Dr. Wolfsohn offers several types of ketamine treatments. For most patients, the intravenous (IV), slow infusion therapy is the most common route of administration for ketamine. IV ketamine therapy is often combined with IV hydration, supplements and other medicines which can extend the effects of ketamine and make your treatment experience more comfortable.

Dr. Wolfsohn is also able to offer intramuscular and intranasal ketamine therapy as an alternative for patients who may not be able to receive IV therapies.

In short, you have multiple options for your ketamine treatment. If you’re interested in learning more about how this groundbreaking treatment can help you lead a more comfortable life, don’t hesitate to talk to Dr. Wolfsohn. She and her dedicated staff at Ventura Center for Advanced Therapeutics have offered ketamine to their patients since it was first shown to be safe and effective.

How soon after a ketamine infusion will I feel better? How long does it last?

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 or pain. This effect has been reported to last from a few hours to 18 days. When used in conjunction with other treatment modalities, behavioral health intervention in particular, the results can last up to several months or longer.

How safe is ketamine infusion therapy if done in the outpatient/clinic setting?

Ketamine is considered a safe medication; however, how it is used and by whom determines how safely this medication can be used in the outpatient setting. We place a high degree of importance on the medical decision making of determining if a patient is an appropriate candidate for outpatient ketamine infusion therapy. Patients are screened for medical, psychological and social-emotional conditions that may prevent them from being an appropriate candidate for this intervention. In certain cases, a urine drug screen may be ordered in the initial consultation phase.

How does ketamine infusion therapy get incorporated into a comprehensive treatment plan?

Anyone can call to inquire about ketamine infusion therapy. Before initiating treatment, a plan must be set in place to optimize the possibility of successful treatment. All patients first need to have an initial consultation to review their medical history, brief physical exam, previous treatments, baseline symptom severity, previous medical records, and pertinent self-reporting inventories to identify the most appropriate indication for ketamine infusion and to determine if the patient is an appropriate candidate. Informed consent is also discussed at this time. A supportive family member or advocate is also encouraged to participate in this process. Communication between the referring physician or practitioner is also established to help facilitate a smooth transition of care during and after the infusion process. Additional psychological services are a required part of our treatment model in order to provide you with appropriate care and follow up. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks from the time of initial inquiry to the time of first infusion. We will also facilitate and encourage you to share information regarding the treatment you receive including psychological services, education and planning when you return to your primary treating physician after completing your ketamine infusion or infusion series.

What is the success rate of IV ketamine infusion therapy?

Most research studies and ketamine infusion centers report that approximately 70 % of patients treated will respond positively and begin to feel better after their first ketamine infusion. Most ketamine infusions are initially scheduled as a series of 6 infusions within a 2-3 week period of time to in order to provide relief anywhere from weeks to months. A high degree of importance is placed on the initial patient evaluation and candidate selection for this intervention. Some conditions, can be more challenging to treat and may require different infusion schedules, dosages and length of infusion times to maximize the patient’s benefit.

Are there side effects with ketamine infusion therapy?

Patients are monitored closely throughout the infusion process. The presence of side effects depends on the dose of ketamine given and the frequency of use. In general, the side effects of ketamine infusion therapy are mild and not every patient experiences them. Some side effects are anticipated and can be easily treated at the time of infusion such as anxiety, headache or nausea.

Other side effects that could occur during an infusion include increased heart rate and blood pressure or a deeper level of dissociation than intended. Although all patients are pre-screened to assess the likelihood of these side effects from occurring, on the rare occasion they do occur, either stopping the infusion or treating them with IV medications, these side effects usually resolve within 5-15 minutes. The most common side effect following ketamine infusion is feeling tired for a few hours. Long-term side effects have not been reported by experienced ketamine infusion providers and it is important to choose a ketamine infusion provider who is maintaining a high standard of care.

Talk with the experts about what ketamine can do for you. Call Ventura Center for Advanced Therapeutics or request your appointment online today.