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.