Ketamine Infusions

What are Ketamine and Ketamine Infusions?

Ketamine is a prescription drug and a controlled substance, primarily used as a rapid-onset, short-acting pain-killing agent (anesthetic) during acute and emergency surgical procedures. Unlike other anesthetics drugs, Ketamine is less likely to cause breathing suppression, making it the drug of choice when reliable respiratory ventilating apparatus is not available. Ketamine infusions involve the release of Ketamine directly into the bloodstream.

Ketamine may be an effective pain-killer after a surgical procedure. Experience has shown that Ketamine may be effective in control of acute pain and complex regional pain syndrome. Ketamine infusions are also being used in the treatment of bipolar depression, major depression, and for people with suicidal ideation. 

To learn if ketamine infusions in Los Angeles can help you, contact us to schedule a consultation.

What are the Possible Side Effects?

Ketamine may cause common and even serious side effects, depending on the dosage consumed, some of which do not require immediate medical attention. The most common side effects of the use of Ketamine are:
  • Nightmares
  • Double vision
  • Jerky muscle movements
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Delirium
  • Euphoria (intense feeling of elation, happiness, excitement and joy)

Ketamine abuse, in high doses particularly with recreational and unsupervised use, may cause fatal side effects such as:

  • Severe respiratory depression
  • Heart failure
  • Coma
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Death (from overdose)

When to Consider Ketamine

A physician may consider ketamine infusions for therapy under certain conditions:

  • For diagnostic and surgical procedures that do not require skeletal muscle relaxation.
  • Induction of anesthesia prior to the administration of other general anesthetic agents.
  • Short-term pain relief following minor surgical procedures.
  • Off-label use of ketamine when conventional treatment for chronic pain, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and other select psychiatric conditions fails to demonstrate positive improvement in symptoms.

Meet With Our Specialists

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How are Ketamine Infusions Given?

Ketamine infusions may be given within or outside the hospital setting.

  • Patients are required to stay inside the hospital for several days (around 5 days) for inpatient ketamine infusions. Ketamine is given through an intravenous (IV) line and started with a 20mg dose of ketamine per hour, which is then increased to a maximum of 40mg of ketamine per hour. Other medications may be used to treat nausea, vomiting and headache throughout the procedure. Fatigue may be common, and may be accompanied by transient periods of hallucinations. These symptoms will fade as the dose is tapered (lowered).
  • On the other hand, another option for giving ketamine is through its outpatient administration. Patients are given 70mg to maximum of 200mg daily for 10 days in tapered doses. Fatigue may also occur, but there are no reported long term side effects for outpatient ketamine administration.

How do we Measure Success of Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Several techniques are being used to measure efficacy of ketamine treatment. Pain and depression are often considered subjective, and a qualitative and objective instrument must be used in order to assess therapeutic efficacy. The following are some of the pain scoring systems and depression evaluation methods that are routinely being used:

Pain assessment scales

    • Visual Analog Scale (VAS)
    • Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale
    • 0–10 Numeric Pain Rating Scale
    • Pain Quality Assessment Scale

Relief of depression

    • Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
    • Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS)
    • Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale
    • Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)

What are the Expected Results from Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Patients who receive ketamine infusion therapy may enjoy immediate pain relief and comfort that is not usually attained from traditional forms of pain treatment.

Ketamine’s rapid therapeutic effect can facilitate effective management of depression and obsessive-compulsive urges. Our specialists will thoroughly review your expected outcomes during your visit. 

Contact us today to learn more about your Los Angeles ketamine infusion options.