Palo Alto Mind Body
Concierge Psychiatry & Psychiatrists located in Palo Alto, CA
It’s estimated that more than 16 million Americans develop or experience what is medically considered major depression every year, and about one-third do not respond to antidepressant medications. For these individuals, relief is frustratingly elusive as they go from medication to medication over an extended period of time only to be disappointed that nothing seems to work. Many are now finding breakthrough success with Intravenous (IV) Ketamine infusions. Unlike other medications, IV Ketamine has been shown to help many individuals begin to recover quickly from even the most severe cases of treatment-resistant depression. M Rameen Ghorieshi, MD, MPH, and his highly specialized team at Palo Alto Mind Body have extensive experience administering IV Ketamine for depression, suicidality, and anxiety, and other debilitating conditions. Ketamine has also been shown to be effective in treating PTSD, and chronic pain disorders. To learn more about this safe and effective treatment option, call the office in Palo Alto, California, or send a confidential email. We also serve many patients located in the surrounding Bay Area, such as South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, San Jose, and San Francisco.
IV Ketamine Infusions Q & A
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication and pain reliever that has been used during surgery for many decades. In this role, it’s so common and safe that it’s often recommended for pediatric surgeries. When used as an anesthetic in this way, ketamine is administered in high doses.
In recent years, however, ketamine has been clinically shown to be effective in treating certain mental health and chronic pain disorders. To treat these issues ketamine is administered in low doses using an intravenous process in a medical office setting.
These low-dose treatments effectively relieve pain and help to balance brain chemicals associated with mental health disorders. Research has shown ketamine administered in this way to be exceptionally effective for depression, and now emerging studies show it may be just as beneficial for quick relief of anxiety even in patients whose anxiety didn’t respond to other medications.
Low-dose ketamine may be administered in several ways: oral, sublingual (under your tongue), intranasal, rectal, intramuscular injection, and intravenous (aka IV) infusion. However, not all methods achieve the same success. Dr. Ghorieshi offers intravenous infusions which have been shown to deliver the highest, most optimal results.
When you get an IV Ketamine infusion, 100% of the medication is introduced into your bloodstream. Unfortunately, other methods are unreliable and yield a much lower bioavailability or absorption into your blood.
For example, oral absorption can be as low as 16% and nasal spray as low as 8%, while sublingual and intramuscular administration can vary widely often have inconsistent and unsuccessful results. The slow, consistent, and controlled delivery of IV Ketamine has been shown to be far more beneficial and successful than all other methods.
How does ketamine provide relief?
In addition to being safe, ketamine is fast acting. It quickly balances the activity of a neurotransmitter called glutamate, which in turn lessens the symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression. Our holistic approach combines the ketamine treatment with other treatments to ensure a comprehensive and personalized approach to mental health and well-being.
How quickly does ketamine work?
Following an IV infusion of ketamine, most patients see an improvement within hours. By comparison, commonly used antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors take weeks to produce symptom relief.
Where should I go to get my ketamine treatment?
IV Ketamine treatments are administered under the direct supervision of a medical doctor and the supporting medical staff. It is highly recommended to only receive ketamine treatments at a facility managed by a psychiatrist that is a trained expert in mental health and authorized to manage medications for mental health issues.
Some clinics that offer ketamine infusions are managed by other types of medical professionals that are not mental health experts. Palo Alto Mind Body is managed by Dr. M Rameen Ghorieshi who holds dual board certifications in psychiatry. He is supported by a team of highly trained and experienced providers that specialize in ketamine infusion treatments.
What conditions are treatable with ketamine?
Extensive research shows that ketamine is exceptionally useful for treatment-resistant depression. In addition to serving as a general antidepressant, recent landmark studies support its benefit for treating acute suicidality.
Studies also indicate that ketamine is beneficial for other mental health conditions such as anxiety, particularly in patient’s who don’t respond to other medications. Further data suggest that Ketamine may be helpful in treating treat bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Other evaluations showing promise are the use of Ketamine to help against eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Ketamine has a successful history of relieving chronic pain. It treats a range of chronic pain disorders including complex regional pain syndrome and some neuropathic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
How is ketamine administered?
Ketamine may be administered in several ways, but intravenous (IV) infusion is the most successful. The treatment is administered in a quiet, private suite at Palo Alto Mind Body.
Most treatments take about 90 minutes which includes preparation time, the ketamine infusion, and post-infusion monitoring. During this time, most patients prefer to close their eyes and rest quietly or listen to soft music while they relax. You will be continuously monitored by medical staff during the entire process. Following your infusion, you can’t drive for the rest of the day, so you will need to have a family member or friend drive you home.
Dr. Ghorieshi also offers Spravato™-the new FDA approved esketamine nasal spray for depression.
How many IV Ketamine treatments will I need?
It is recommended that patients receive six to seven infusions within a two week period as part of the initiation phase of the treatment. This initial intensive approach typically provides a sustained improvement of your condition.
After the initial phase of treatments, many patients will benefit from booster infusions on a less frequent basis that ranges from weeks apart to months apart depending on how you respond to the treatments. Dr. Ghorieshi will work with you and your doctor to review your progress and determine the long-term impact on your symptoms and adjust treatment accordingly.
Do I need to switch doctors?
No. As a licensed physician who is dual board certified in psychiatry, Dr. Ghorieshi is uniquely qualified to manage your ketamine treatments. He can provide all your mental health care (medication management, psychotherapy, and IV Ketamine treatments), or you can keep your current mental health provider and come in only for the IV Ketamine infusions. Dr. Ghorieshi will gladly liaise with your current provider.
Should I stop taking my current medications?
Most medications are compatible with IV Ketamine treatments and may be continued as prescribed. Before receiving your IV Ketamine treatment, Dr. Ghorieshi will review the details of your situation including all medications you are currently taking.
Are there any conditions that might prevent my ability to receive IV Ketamine?
Certain medical conditions need to be addressed prior to receiving IV Ketamine treatments. These include uncontrolled or unstable heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and active symptoms of manic bipolar disorder or psychotic episodes. If any of these conditions currently challenges you, please discuss with Dr. Ghorieshi or your current doctor.
Is there anything I can do to enhance the benefits I receive from IV Ketamine?
Prior to undergoing IV Ketamine treatments, it is crucial to address specific medical conditions. These include conditions such as uncontrolled or unstable heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and active symptoms of manic bipolar disorder or psychotic episodes. If you are currently diagnosed with any of these conditions, we recommend discussing them with Dr. Ghorieshi or your primary healthcare provider for personalized guidance
Does ketamine work for everyone?
Not everyone. However, IV Ketamine treatments have remarkably high success rates. The majority of Dr. Ghorieshi’s patients report significant improvements and often life-changing benefits from their IV Ketamine treatments. Unlike other medications that can take weeks or months to assess, you will know quickly if ketamine is working for you. Because of this rapid response, you will not waste unnecessary time or money.
Does Palo Alto Mind Body accept insurance?
Palo Alto Mind Body is currently out-of-network with all insurance. However, their team will assist you in seeking reimbursement from your insurance on an out-of-network basis. While many of the services offered by Palo Alto Mind Body, including consultations, are covered by insurance providers, IV Ketamine treatments may be not covered by some providers at this time.
How do I get started?
To get started, please call Palo Alto Mind Body or book a consultation online. While a referral from your current provider is not required, Dr. Ghorieshi will meet with you to learn about your particular situation, as well as, any medications you are taking. This initial consultation can be done in person, on the phone, or via a secure HIPAA-compliant telehealth service.