What is Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine therapy is a novel treatment option for various mood disorders, chronic pain conditions, and addictions. Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been shown to have rapid and robust antidepressant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Ketamine blocks the brain’s N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which transmit pain signals and regulate mood and cognition. Ketamine also stimulates the growth of new neural connections and enhances synaptic plasticity, which may help with chronic stress, depression, and pain.
There are different types of ketamine therapy available, depending on the route of administration, the dosage, the frequency, and the setting of the treatment. Every kind of therapy has its benefits and drawbacks and may be more suitable for specific conditions or patients. In this blog post, we will review the four main types of ketamine therapy: intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), oral, and nasal. We will also discuss how you can contact Avesta Ketamine and Wellness to learn more about our therapy infusions.
Intravenous (IV) Ketamine Therapy
IV ketamine therapy is the most common and well-studied type of therapy. It involves infusing a low dose of ketamine into a vein over a period of 40 to 60 minutes. The infusion is done in a comfortable and supervised setting. IV ketamine can produce rapid and lasting improvements in mood, pain, and quality of life for patients with treatment-resistant depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), neuropathic pain, and other chronic pain conditions.
The benefits of IV Ketamine include:
- Highest bioavailability: IV ketamine reaches the brain quickly and efficiently.
- Precise dosing: IV ketamine can be adjusted to the optimal dose for each patient based on weight, response, and tolerance.
- Fast onset: IV ketamine can produce noticeable effects within minutes of the infusion.
- Long duration: IV ketamine can have lasting effects for days or weeks after a single infusion or a series of infusions.
- Safe monitoring: IV ketamine can be the safest form of ketamine therapy if it is administered and monitored in-clinic by licensed medical professionals.
The drawbacks of IV Ketamine include:
- Cost: IV ketamine therapy may not be covered by insurance.
- Side effects: IV ketamine might cause transient side effects such as nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, and dissociation. These side effects are usually mild and resolve within an hour after the infusion.
Intramuscular (IM) Ketamine Therapy
IM ketamine is another type of injectable ketamine that involves injecting a low dose of ketamine into a muscle, usually in the arm or thigh. The injection is done in a similar setting as IV ketamine , with monitoring and support from medical staff. IM ketamine can also produce rapid and lasting improvements in mood, pain, and quality of life for patients with similar conditions as IV ketamine.
The benefits of IM ketamine include:
- Simplicity: IM ketamine does not require an infusion pump or vein access and can be done with a simple syringe and needle.
The drawbacks of IM ketamine include:
- Pain: IM ketamine can cause pain and bruising at the injection site.
- Variability: IM ketamine can have variable absorption rates depending on each patient’s muscle mass, blood flow, and metabolism.
- Side effects: IM ketamine can cause similar side effects as IV ketamine, but they may be more intense or longer-lasting due to the higher peak concentration of ketamine.
Oral Ketamine Therapy
Oral ketamine therapy is a type of oral medication that involves taking a low dose of ketamine in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid. Oral ketamine can be done at home or in a clinic, with guidance and follow-up from a doctor. Oral ketamine can be used as an adjunct to other treatments for mood disorders, chronic pain, and addictions. Oral ketamine may have a slower onset and a lower bioavailability than injectable ketamine, but it may also have fewer side effects.
The benefits of oral therapy include:
- Accessibility: Oral ketamine can be easily obtained and administered and does not require specialized equipment or staff.
- Affordability: Oral therapy can be more affordable.
The drawbacks of oral therapy include:
- Inconsistency: Oral therapy can have variable effects depending on the dose, the formulation, the timing, the food intake, and the individual factors of each patient.
- Delayed onset: Oral therapy can take longer to reach the brain and produce its effects than injectable ketamine.
- Safety: Oral Ketamine therapy is often not monitored in-clinic or by licensed professionals who can advise patients on the risk of overdose, abuse or dependence.
Nasal Ketamine Therapy
Nasal ketamine therapy is a type of inhalable medication that involves spraying a low dose of ketamine into the nostrils. Nasal ketamine can be done at home or in a clinic, with guidance and follow-up from a doctor. The FDA approves nasal ketamine for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression in adults under the brand name Spravato. Nasal ketamine may also have benefits for other mood disorders and chronic pain conditions.
The benefits of nasal therapy include:
- Ease of use: Nasal therapy can be self-administered with a simple device that delivers a measured dose of ketamine to each nostril.
- Rapid onset: Nasal therapy can reach the brain quickly through the nasal mucosa and produce its effects within 15 to 30 minutes.
- Minimal side effects. : Nasal therapy Treatment was associated with minimal adverse effects.
The drawbacks of nasal therapy include:
- Efficacy: Nasal Ketamine therapy is not as bioavailable as the other forms of ketamine therapy.
- Irritation: Nasal therapy can cause irritation and inflammation in the nasal passages.
- Side effects: Nasal therapy can cause similar side effects as injectable or oral ketamine but is generally well tolerated.
We are here to help!
Ketamine therapy is an excellent treatment option for patients who suffer from mood disorders, chronic pain conditions, or addictions that are resistant to conventional treatments. The best type of ketamine therapy for each patient depends on their diagnosis, symptoms, preferences, and goals. At Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, we offer personalized and comprehensive care for patients interested in trying ketamine therapy. We provide IV, IM, oral, and nasal therapy in a safe and comfortable environment with experienced and compassionate practitioners. If you want to learn more about how ketamine can help you improve your mood, pain, and quality of life, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.