4 Things to Know Before You Sign Up for Ketamine Treatment

Ketamine infusion therapy is a revolutionary breakthrough in curing mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and PTSD. Developed in 1962, doctors initially used it as an anesthesia and for pain relief without side effects or addiction risk. 

Recently, ketamine has evolved for multiple treatment options. Unlike traditional medications that trigger neurotransmitters to instigate positive responses, ketamine changes neural pathways and develops healthy neurons. It is a more long-lasting treatment and changes brain response to medications. Hence, if certain medications do not affect a patient’s mental health, they will work after infusion therapy. It makes treatment for patients and therapists a lot easier after ketamine treatment. 

However, note that ketamine does not produce results overnight. It is an ongoing process and depends on multiple factors. Let us examine some more important aspects of ketamine treatment before you sign up for one.

1. Faster Cure for Depression

Intravenous (IV) ketamine centers of Chicago conducted a study at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and found significant improvement in depression symptoms for patients. It showed a robust positive response for severely depressed patients. 

Ketamine also works wonders by lowering depression symptoms such as mood disorders and low energy. The researchers estimate it will help reduce suicide rates and depression cases in Chicago and nearby areas. Therefore, if you consider going for infusion therapy, it is wise to get ketamine treatment in Chicago, which also offers infusions for optimum wellness for people in Chicago and surrounding areas. 

Ketamine is ideal for those for whom traditional treatment methods for depression have failed. It is even better for those more prone to get addicted to antidepressants and other medications. Once addiction hits, the effect of a medication may no longer work the same way over time. They can enjoy a life-changing experience and feel lighter after undergoing infusion therapy. 

2. The Process of Ketamine

Before undergoing ketamine treatment, you must analyze if it is right. For that, you can go for a consultation with a clinical psychiatrist and share your concerns. After that, you can book your first appointment. However, if you are already undergoing mental health treatment, it would be wise to consult your current psychiatrist first and collaborate with a ketamine treatment specialist. 

Establishing your goals before undergoing treatment and being mentally prepared are important. For example, determine if you need an IV vitamin infusion, NAD+ infusion, or ketamine for mood disorders. Discuss your options with the specialist and the psychiatrist and ask them about the procedure. 

Sometimes, you can book a session immediately if you qualify. You will find yourself in comfortable seating with eyeshades and earbuds. An IV drip will then be attached to your hand and increased slowly. However, you may ask them to stop if you feel uncomfortable. Nurses will be present to check your vitals and monitor your progress to ensure that you are on the right track. 

3. Prepare Yourself Beforehand

Before undergoing ketamine, you need to prepare yourself. First, avoid taking Benzodiazepines that include Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, and Librium at least 4 to 6 hours before the session. They can interfere with the treatment and make it less effective, especially if you take it daily or at a high dosage. 

Secondly, it is better to eat a light meal at least three hours before undergoing a session to reduce temporary side effects such as nausea. However, do not go on an empty stomach, either. You must maintain your energy for the session. You may experience other side effects, such as temporary hallucinations and loss of appetite. You may even feel groggy and drained after the session. Try to get a good night’s sleep. The symptoms will vanish by morning. Some patients may take a few hours or days to relieve after the session. Others may feel thoughts of suicide and self-harm gradually fading away, bringing immense relief. Moreover, avoid operating heavy machinery or driving home after the session. It is better to arrange for transportation and rest after the session. 

4. Period of the Ketamine Course

The timeline of ketamine treatment can vary from person to person. Patients typically get few infusions over a short period and experience significant differences soon after. It takes a much shorter amount of time than medications that you have to take regularly. Ketamine infusion can finally get you off medications and eliminate the problem of addiction.

Your consultant psychiatrist will evaluate your case and condition and determine how many sessions you need. However, the timeline can vary based on the results after each session. The ketamine infusion treatment entails two phases: the loading phase and the maintenance phase. During the loading phase, patients may receive 2 to 3 infusions in a week for 2 to 4 weeks, with a total of 6 to 12 infusions. This phase aims to help you significantly decrease depressive symptoms or eliminate remission. Typically with this kind of treatment, mental health professionals and medical experts, such as those working at Serenity Mental Healthcare, will monitor your medication usage to ensure that ground is being made in reducing your symptoms. They will also look out for any potential side effects and adjust your treatment accordingly. Beyond any intervention, they will likely recommend you finish the full course of medication, even if you feel better after 1 or 2 sessions, this is in order to receive the long term benefits of ketamine administration after the loading phase is finished.

The maintenance phase turns into a personalized treatment where patients can visit the clinic if they feel their depressive symptoms kicking back in. This phase may entail up to 2 sessions in a week.


It is important to understand the ketamine infusion treatment before you sign up for one. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will feel. You and your psychiatrist must be on the same page regarding the procedure to avoid any confusion later on. Ask as many questions as possible to get clarification, and take full advantage of your initial consultation by learning all about it.

It is especially suitable for severe depression and suicidal patients for whom the traditional methods have failed. It helps keep you off addictive drugs and antidepressants that you may take regularly. Make sure you prepare yourself before each session and rest after to overcome the side effects. You may experience a significant symptom decrease after the first one or two sessions. However, ensure you complete the recommended course to reduce the chances of remission.