FAQ

Ketamine Research Study

What is ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic, commonly used in emergency rooms and surgical suites all over the world. Repeated clinical trials at sub-anesthetic doses have demonstrated that ketamine has an appropriate off-label use treating depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and nerve-related chronic pain, among other mental health conditions.

Will ketamine therapy help my mental health?

Based on a landmark study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, up to 70% of all participants can expect significant relief of depression, anxiety or traumatic stress after a series of six ketamine infusions. It is important to understand that it is impossible to predict an outcome for a specific patient.

How well does it work?

Most typical anti-depressants take weeks-to-months to show improvements in symptoms, whereas ketamine is a rapid-acting medication which begins to work within hours-to-days of infusions.

Where is the treatment performed?

All treatments are performed on an outpatient basis in our relaxing, spa-like offices in Lexington, KY.

How many ketamine infusions will I receive?

For this study, all participants receive a series of six infusions spaced over two or three weeks. This follows the protocol developed in clinical trials and is the best predictor of efficacy.

If ketamine therapy works for me how soon will I begin to feel better?

A small percentage of participants begin to feel better within hours of the first infusion. Participants with thoughts of self-harm often notice those thoughts dissipating first with a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness. Many participants do not notice a significant mood improvement until they’ve had several infusions. Almost all participants who will respond feel measurably better after the series of six infusions.

Are there any side effects?

During the infusion, people often experience dissociative effects, such as perceptual distortions or something akin to an out-of-body experience. The feeling lasts for no more than an hour after the infusion while the medication’s benefits last much longer. A transient increase in heart rate or blood pressure is also common, comparable to walking up a flight of stairs carrying a bag of groceries.

Are there any long-term side effects with ketamine therapy?

IV Ketamine therapy following the NIMH protocol results in no known long-term side effects.

What should I expect during ketamine therapy?

Ketamine is administered over a period of 40 minutes. The dose is determined by your weight. The amount of ketamine administered is not enough to cause a loss of consciousness, so you will remain awake. During the infusion, some participants experience a waking dream-like state or mild euphoria. Most find the treatment
very pleasant. Participants generally leave the office within a few minutes following the infusion and feel quite normal. It is important not to drive, operate any dangerous machinery, or make any important decisions until the day after a ketamine infusion, as reaction times can be significantly diminished shortly following the
infusion.

Do I need to stop taking any of my current medications before I begin ketamine therapy?

You should not make any adjustments in your current medications without specific approval from the prescriber. It is recommended to avoid benzodiazepines or narcotic pain medications on the day of your infusions, if possible.

Is ketamine safe for me?

Some medical and psychiatric conditions may not be appropriate for ketamine treatment. Any person pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant; individuals older than 64 or younger than 18; or any known previous adverse reaction to ketamine may not be appropriate for this study.