What should I expect on the day of treatment?

After your prior history has been researched and you have been approved for infusion therapy, you will be scheduled for your series of infusions. You will need to bring a responsible adult to your infusion treatment. This person will witness consent forms and also provide a safe ride for you following the procedure. You will have been given instructions regarding limitations on food and drink pre-procedure, as well as our recommendation not to drive for 12 hours following infusion therapy. One of our three anesthesiologists will meet you at the infusion center and bring you to the infusion room. Your first visit will consist of a thorough history and explanation of the infusion procedure.
On this first and subsequent visits, you will fill out an assessment form used to track your depression score at baseline and, at each subsequent visit, to track your improvement. You will have an IV started and you will have blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitoring throughout the procedure. We will check on you periodically throughout the infusion but attempt to allow you a peaceful, quiet environment. Some patients bring headphones for music/white noise while others simply close their eyes and rest. After the infusion, you are discharged when you meet our discharge criteria. We will provide you contact information and give you your next scheduled appointment information prior to you leaving the infusion center. Typically, the entire infusion center procedure takes 1 1/2 hours per treatment.

Each ketamine infusion last approximately 45 minutes. Most patients will be able to experience the effects of ketamine after the first 10 to 15 minutes of infusion. Most patients describe the sensation as dream like, and introspective. There have been reports of patients experiencing nausea and headaches although that has not routinely been our experience to this point. We do have anti nausea medicine and other medicines to provide relief of headaches available if needed.

Our experience and research shows that 70% or more of patients experience beneficial effects of ketamine within hours of the first treatment. The improvements continue with subsequent treatments as evidenced by improved depression scores on our evaluations.