What to expect during your ketamine therapy

Dr. M Rameen Ghorieshi, Palo Alto Mind Body

Millions of Americans face the challenges of major depressive disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues daily. Unfortunately, as many as a third of the men and women undergoing treatment with traditional antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications find little to no relief from their chronic symptoms. It can take six weeks or more for traditional antidepressants to begin to work, if ever, and that’s a long time to wait when every day is a challenge.

Ketamine therapy is different. Ketamine is fast-acting and often works when other treatments fail. Study findings published by The National Institute of Mental Health, for instance, indicate ketamine lifted depressive symptoms in as little as two hours in patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression.

At Palo Alto Mind Body, we’ve noted very significant clinical improvement in our patients who undergo ketamine IV (intravenous) infusion therapy. It’s been life-changing for these men and women. We’re quite pleased to offer ketamine IV infusion treatments for real relief from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other debilitating issues.

And our team, led by board-certified psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist Dr. Rameen Ghorieshi, has the medical experience and skill you need to help ensure your ketamine IV therapy is safe and effective.

The ketamine difference

Most antidepressants work to increase levels of serotonin and other chemicals in your brain to rebalance and restore your mood. Ketamine takes another route. It acts as an inhibitor of glutamate, a chemical in your brain that science believes may be one of the activators of depression.

Research is ongoing, but investigations performed by the Yale School of Medicine show ketamine may also help repair stress-induced damage to synaptic connections within your brain, which may play a significant role in depression and/or anxiety.

We’re also seeing very positive results in ketamine therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and other previously difficult-to-manage issues.

Getting started with ketamine therapy

The first step in ketamine therapy provided by Palo Alto Mind Body is a thorough evaluation and review of your medical history, the medications you’re taking now, and what treatments you’ve tried in the past for your symptoms.

Dr. Ghorieshi uses the information he gathers during this initial consultation to determine your current situation and whether you’re a candidate for ketamine therapy. He also provides detailed instructions and information regarding the therapy itself and what you can expect from ketamine infusions.

For your convenience, this consultation can take place in person, over the phone, or via our secure, HIPAA-compliant telehealth service.

The basics of a ketamine IV infusion treatment

Ketamine may be administered in several ways, including via injection, oral medication, or IV infusion. We prefer IV infusion here at Palo Alto Mind Body—it is by far the most successful delivery method.

Each treatment takes about 90 minutes and includes check-in/preparation time, the infusion itself, and post-treatment monitoring. We administer the therapy in a quiet, private suite here at our facility and ask that you dress comfortably and come prepared to relax.

You can expect a pinch when we insert the needle for the IV, but our staff is well-trained at infusion and keeping your discomfort to a minimum. Ketamine has a sedating effect, so you’ll likely feel drowsy as the medicine begins to do its job. Some patients may feel slightly nauseous initially, but this typically fades fast.

We monitor you carefully throughout the treatment and give you time to recover before sending you home to rest for the remainder of the day. Make sure you have someone available to take you home since the drowsiness that’s common with ketamine impairs your ability to drive.

What to expect after your initial ketamine treatment

You can typically expect improvement in your mood within just a few hours of your initial treatment. For optimal results, we recommend several treatments over the course of two to three weeks and then follow-up, maintenance-type treatments every couple of months. Every person is unique, though, so your course may vary, and we continue to monitor you carefully to make sure you’re receiving the expected benefits.

 

Palo Alto Mind Body, located in Palo Alto, California, and serving patients throughout the Silicon Valley and greater San Francisco Bay Area, provides leading-edge medical, functional medicine, and psychotherapy solutions for a wide range of mental and physical health issues. This includes state-of-the-art IV ketamine infusion therapy for treatment-resistant depression, addiction, PTSD, and chronic pain. PAMB is led by dual board-certified psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist Dr. M Rameen Ghorieshi and also utilizes a uniquely skilled team that includes a psychopharmacologist, acupuncturist, and functional medicine researcher. For a consultation, call us at 650-681-2900.

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