For Patients

Am I a candidate?

Ketamine Depression therapy for treatment-resistant depression can be valuable to people who have:

  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Chronic Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome 
  • Phantom Limb Pain

It is imperative that you are under the care of a mental health professional/provider to be considered as a candidate.

You’re not a candidate if:

  • You have an illegal drug addiction
  • Have uncontrolled hypertension
  • Have severe congestive heart disorder

What to expect

At Oklahoma Ketamine Center, we follow strict protocols when administering Ketamine treatment for depression. The patient will schedule a consultation to discuss the process involved as well as what can be expected during the treatment. This is typically done on first day of the treatment process. Once the patient arrives, any paperwork required will be submitted to our staff. Our nurse will then escort the patient to their private room where a comfortable recliner and a blanket is provided.  In addition, the nurse will start the IV as well as set up the devices such as an EKG, Pulse Oximeter, and NIBP. These devices will monitor the patient’s vital signs. 

The patient will also be given a short questionnaire (Beck’s Depression Inventory Scale) before starting the treatment. This questionnaire will assess how severe the depression symptoms are and also to gauge the effectiveness of the treatment. The anesthesia provider will then speak with the patient to explain how the treatment works while the infusion nurse prepares the patient for the Ketamine therapy. 

The Ketamine therapy lasts for about an hour. Our licensed medical staff will constantly monitor the patient’s vital signs.  They will also control the flow of Ketamine to ensure that the patient is always safe and getting the right amount of medicine. After the treatment, the patient is kept for another 15-20 minutes (or until the patient can establish that the mild dizziness and blurred vision has subsided) to monitor the vitals before discharging them to a guardian or designated driver.

Lastly, it is required that the patient does not drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery after the Ketamine treatment. Therefore, the patient must have someone to drive them home after the Ketamine infusion. 

What You May Experience

Ketamine for depression is given in such small doses. It does not give a “high,” but rather a pleasant experience. The dosage is only a fraction of what you would normally receive in hospital surgeries. Some patients experience an out-of-body feeling or floating sensation during the infusion. Some do not experience this but do feel a deep sense of relaxation. Patients have noted vivid daydreams during the infusion while some patients simply nap.

After the Treatment

There are some patients who feel some relief from their depression after just one infusion.  Others may experience this after their second or third infusion. Majority of our patients can do activities they normally find impossible to do after their treatment program. Activities such as spending time with friends and family, getting out of bed, eating meals, taking care of personal hygiene, looking for employment, etc., are made possible because the depression symptoms or negative thoughts are taken away.

Other Considerations

The patients should not stop their prescribed medication while on Ketamine therapy without speaking to their mental health provider. Your provider will be educated on what medication should be discontinued before treatment. 

Side effects that may occur include blurred vision, nausea or vomiting, and dizziness during the Ketamine infusion. Let your Ketamine professional know if you experience such effects during the treatment. These minor side effects resolve within a couple hours of treatment.

Visit Ketamine Advocacy Network for more information about Ketamine Depression Therapy by clicking on the image above

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