Ketamine infusion therapy is a great tool for people who are struggling with treatment-resistant depression and other physical and mental health issues. It can help to improve lives and drastically reduce the impacts of condition symptoms. But, if you have never experienced ketamine infusion therapy, you may have questions about what to expect during ketamine infusion sessions before your first appointment. Knowing what to expect before your first session can help you to have more confidence and be more relaxed in order to enjoy your experience fully.
Before your first ketamine infusion session, you’ll meet with your mental health treatment providers to assess whether or not you’re a good candidate for ketamine infusion therapy. The assessment will involve asking you questions about the symptoms you’re living with, any medications or treatments you’ve tried in the past, your medical history, and your family history. Once it’s determined that ketamine infusion therapy is something that you can benefit from, you and your provider will establish a treatment plan that determines when your sessions will take place and how many sessions you’ll receive. During your initial assessment, you’ll also talk about what you can expect from sessions, your expectations for treatment, questions or concerns you may have, and what to expect after sessions.
Pro tip: It can be helpful to bring a list of any questions you may have that you want to ask at your initial assessment. This way, you get the most out of this appointment and leave feeling confident that you’re making the right choice about treatment.
Undoubtedly, your first ketamine infusion session will be the one you are most nervous about as you’ve never undergone this type of treatment in the past. But, knowing more about what to expect can help to ease the nerves. Ketamine infusions are non-invasive and are as easy as getting your blood drawn. The medication that is administered during sessions, ketamine, is given to patients using an IV. Traditionally, the IV is inserted into veins located in the arm and the medication is administered as soon as about 30 minutes. So, sessions are quick and painless. During sessions, the medication may make you feel relaxed and calm, so once the needle is inserted, you can sit back and take some time for yourself to get comfortable. The majority of patients don’t experience any side effects during ketamine therapy sessions, but if you do experience side effects, they’re likely to be temporary and include nausea or lightheadedness.
While ketamine infusion sessions typically take 30-45 minutes, the medication will still be flowing through the bloodstream after treatment has taken place. This is why it’s important to plan for what happens after treatment. For example, due to the medication’s effects, it’s necessary to have someone drive you home after sessions as it’s not advised to operate heavy machinery for at least a few hours. Furthermore, after treatment sessions, you may feel relaxed and wish to lie down or even take a nap. So, many people who utilize this type of treatment don’t plan to return to work after sessions. Therefore, it may be best to plan treatment sessions on a day when you don’t have to work.
As far as side effects go, there are few to worry about and only a small percentage of people experience them. The most common side effect is fatigue, which only occurs up to a few hours after sessions are complete.
Are you tired of using antidepressants that aren’t giving you the relief you need for symptoms of treatment-resistant depression? It may be time to talk to a mental health treatment provider, like Delray Brain Science, about outpatient ketamine infusion sessions. Learn more about our individualized approach to ketamine infusions from our website today and reach out to us with any questions you may have.