Myths and Facts About Ketamine

Myths and Facts About Ketamine

Ketamine, once primarily known as an anesthetic in medical settings and a party drug in illicit circles, has been gaining attention for its potential therapeutic applications. However, with this newfound interest comes a flood of misinformation and misconceptions. 

Our experts at Palo Alto Mind Body are here to help you understand the true nature of ketamine and its implications. Here, we’ll state the myths and explain the facts.

Myth: Ketamine is only a recreational drug

Although ketamine has a history of illicit use due to its dissociative effects, it has been used as an anesthetic agent for decades, particularly given its positive safety profile. Moreover, recent research has uncovered its potential therapeutic benefits in treating various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Our clinic offers ketamine intravenous infusions and S-ketamine nasal spray (Spravato, esketamine) as promising treatment options for individuals resistant to conventional antidepressants.

Myth: Ketamine is highly addictive

Ketamine can have addictive potential, especially when abused at high doses and frequency. However, when used under our medical supervision and in controlled doses, the risk of addiction is significantly reduced. 

In addition, ketamine's antidepressant effects may help individuals struggling with substance use disorders by alleviating symptoms of depression and reducing cravings.

Myth: Ketamine treatment is dangerous

Like any medication, ketamine has potential side effects and risks, particularly at higher doses. However, ketamine is generally safe, especially when it’s administered in our clinical setting by trained providers. 

As our patients are undergoing ketamine therapy, we monitor them closely to ensure their safety and well-being throughout their treatment. There’s value in understanding that the therapeutic benefits of ketamine can outweigh the risks for individuals with treatment-resistant mental health conditions.

Myth: Ketamine works the same for everyone

Though ketamine has shown remarkable efficacy for many individuals, its effects can vary from person to person. Factors like dosage, frequency of administration, and individual biochemistry play a significant role in determining a person’s response to ketamine treatment. 

Some patients may experience rapid relief from symptoms, while others may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired outcome. We tailor personalized treatment plans to each patient's needs to maximize the effectiveness of ketamine therapy.

News reports and online message boards can sometimes set unrealistic expectations for ketamine treatment. While some patients may get better after only a few treatments, most patients improve steadily over longer periods of time.

Myth: Ketamine is a cure-all for mental health disorders

Even though ketamine has shown promising results in alleviating symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions, it isn’t a perfect remedy. Ketamine treatment should be viewed as a complementary approach rather than a standalone solution. 

Our psychotherapy and functional medicine practices also involve talk therapy, behavioral change, lifestyle modifications, and ongoing support as crucial components of holistic mental health care. 

Ketamine should always be approached with caution and under medical guidance. By dispelling misconceptions and embracing evidence-based practices, we can embrace the potential of ketamine to improve the lives of those struggling with mental illness.

If you have questions about ketamine therapy, our door is always open. Book a consultation today by calling 650-681-2900 or clicking here now.

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