Ketamine is an anesthetic and sedative approved by the FDA since 1970. It is commonly used in medical settings such as operating rooms and emergency departments. In 2019, the FDA approved a prescription nasal spray version of ketamine to treat treatment-resistant depression. However, treatment of depression, anxiety, chronic pain, OCD, PTSD, drug abuse, and alcohol addiction with ketamine infusion therapy has not been approved by the FDA.

Ketamine infusion therapy is administered through an intravenous (IV) solution. The drug is delivered in a very low dose and slowly infused over a period of several hours. This allows the drug to reach the brain and have an effect very quickly, providing relief from symptoms almost immediately.

The exact mechanism of action of ketamine is not yet known, but research suggests it has an effect on the neurotransmitters serotonin and glutamate. It is believed that these effects, in turn, lead to an overall improvement in mood and reduction in symptoms of depression, PTSD, chronic pain, and extreme anxiety.

Ketamine infusion therapy is a relatively safe option as it is administered in a controlled medical setting and monitored throughout the entire process. However, like any medical procedure, there is a risk of potential side effects, such as confusion, dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. It is important to discuss any potential risks with your doctor prior to undergoing the procedure.


Ketamine infusions have been shown to have beneficial effects on the brain, such as increasing the levels of glutamate, which can help to strengthen and restore communication between neurons in areas of the brain that are affected by depression.

It has also been used to treat chronic pain, particularly those involving nerve damage, due to its ability to inhibit the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor and potentially reduce inflammation.

Studies have shown both immediate and long-term analgesic effects from ketamine use, with some lasting up to three months.


After a thorough examination of your medical history, you will be considered an eligible patient for treatment. To receive the ketamine infusion, an IV line will be inserted into one of your limbs. Throughout the procedure, your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation will be monitored by the doctor. The doctor will administer a sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine slowly and continuously.

The infusion time varies from 40 to 55 minutes for depression, and 2 to 4 hours for chronic pain. Depending on how you respond to the first infusion, the doctor may increase the dose incrementally during subsequent infusions to maximize your response. The infusion rate will also be adjusted during each treatment based on your response to maximize effectiveness. Adjuvant medications may be given if needed, such as anti-nausea medications or mild sedatives for agitation.


La terapia de infusión de ketamina debe ser administrada y monitoreada por un proveedor experimentado en un entorno clínico. En sus más de 35 años de experiencia, 15 de ellos como médico del Departamento de Emergencias, el Dr. Rengifo ha administrado ketamina de manera segura a muchos pacientes, con una variedad de condiciones. El Dr. Rengifo es miembro de ASKP, Sociedad Americana de Médicos de Ketamina, un grupo sin fines de lucro de profesionales dedicados al uso clínico seguro de la ketamina para trastornos de salud mental y condiciones de dolor.