Ketamine Infusions

Rapid and Sustained Relief for Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and other Mood Disorders

What are Ketamine Infusions?

Ketamine infusion therapy involves administering a controlled dose of IV ketamine, a medication traditionally used for anesthesia but now recognized for its rapid-acting antidepressant effects. This therapy is typically used to treat severe depression, including treatment-resistant depression, as well as anxiety, PTSD, and other mood disorders and certain chronic pain conditions such as CRPS.

The Procedure

  • The procedure begins with check-in and a discussion with your provider about how you’re doing, how treatments are progressing, and the treatment plan for the day.
  • After the provider sets the IV we’ll ask you to get comfortable. Many people prefer to listen to music they enjoy – preferably music without words.
  • The active infusion is administered by a controlled pump and is typically around 40 minutes, followed by a recovery period of about 20 minutes. Key vitals are monitored throughout the procedure.
  • We’ll check in with you when you’re ready to go, and ask that you have a ride home.
  • A series of infusions, followed by maintenance treatments, typically provides greater and longer lasting symptom reduction.

Why Choose Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Ketamine infusions provide a clinically-signification reduction of depression symptoms for more than 70% of patients after the third infusion – even in a diverse population and including people suffering from acute, significant and treatment-resistant symptoms. Ketamine infusion treatments can also be similarly helpful for anxiety, PTSD, CRPS and some other mood disorders and pain conditions. Ketamine has a long history as an extremely safe and effective drug. Ketamine infusions are a remarkable breakthrough treatment option for mental health.

Why Choose Wells Medicine?

We are subject matter experts and experience leaders, With over 11,000 infusions administered since 2015, having started one of the first ketamine-focused practices in the country (and the first in Houston), and focused on the best and most-current evidence-based care. We focus on compassionate care, and personalized treatment plans that make sense to you. We offer flexible scheduling, Saturday hours, and a convenient location. We’re an excellent choice and we’d be glad to work with you if appropriate.

Next Steps

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More on Stellate Ketamine Infusions:

What is a Ketamine Infusion? 
 
A ketamine infusion is a therapeutic procedure where a low dose of ketamine, a medication originally used as an anesthetic, is administered intravenously. This treatment is carried out by experienced providers under clinical guidelines and with appropriate to ensure safety and accuracy. The infusion process typically lasts between 40 to 60 minutes and is performed in an out-patient clinical setting. Ketamine has emerged as a breakthrough therapy for those suffering from severe depression, including treatment-resistant symptoms, as well as other mood disorders and conditions and various chronic pain syndromes. Research in its use in mental health therapy began over two decades ago and has accelerated significantly, providing a new hope for rapid symptom relief and improved quality of life. Unlike traditional treatments, ketamine can offer immediate benefits, making it a great option for those who have not found relief with other therapies. Some people see benefits immediately after following their first treatment – especially those suffering with acute symptoms such as persistent suicidal ideation. Many people see benefits that build over multiple treatments, and report measurable improvements after a few treatments. Depending on the symptoms we are treating, and the response and interest of the patient, we often see patients for an initial series of 6 treatments over several weeks followed by maintenance treatments every 3 to 5 weeks thereafter to sustain the results.
 
How Does It Work?
 
For mood: As with many drugs, the exact mechanisms of action are not perfectly understood, but there is significant research on this topic and compelling models. Ketamine acts as and NMDA receptor antagonist and this is thought to be one of its principal areas of action with respect to mood disorders. Ketamine also acts in other areas which may contribute or be cause for its effects including the mTOR pathway, the AMPA receptor pathway, and even opioid receptors in the brain.

For pain: In the context of chronic pain, we also don’t really know how the exact mechanism of action. Our best guesses include that it may down-regulate the mu opioid receptors, it may decrease central sensitization, it may be anti-inflammatory cation, it may decrease our subjective experience of pain (the pain bothers you less). However it works, we know that it does work for some conditions such CRPS and other neurological pain conditions – conditions originating or related to nerves themselves and with not caused by physical damage or other obvious physical causes.

With the caveat that the exact action is not fully understood, our best working model for how we understand ketamine seems to work is this:
* Ketamine encourages or allows for more robust neural activity
* The increased neural activity likely helps affected neurons, including the brain, to function more optimally
* The increased neural activity probably also allows for neuroplasticity – where a patient is better able to make new connections, allowing a patient’s neural activity to overcome unhealthy recursive patterns: This may help a depressed patient to reduce or get away from recursive negative thoughts. It may help a patient with OCD to take advantage of aversion therapy. It may help a substance abuse patient to more readily establish healthy thoughts and routines outside of their addictive behaviors. It may help a pain patient to get out of a pain feedback loop.

Benefits of Ketamine Infusions

* Immediate Impact: Patients often report a significant reduction in depressive symptoms within hours after the first infusion.
* Minimally Invasive: The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, making it a convenient option with minimal recovery time.
* Enhanced Well-being: By alleviating symptoms of depression and chronic pain, ketamine infusions can greatly enhance patients’ overall quality of life.
* Innovative Treatment: Positioned at the forefront of psychiatric and pain management treatments, ketamine offers new hope to individuals where other treatments have failed.
* Broad-Spectrum Utility: Besides its effectiveness in treating depression and chronic pain, ketamine has also been studied for its potential benefits in other psychiatric and neurological conditions including anxiety, PTSD, OCD and even alcoholism and other substance abuse.
 
Risks and Side Effects

Like any medical procedure, ketamine infusions come with potential risks and side effects. Most are temporary and may include:

Common: Feelings of dizziness during and shortly after the infusion. Patients often describe this as ‘feeling floaty.’

Less Common: Nausea and mild hallucinogenic effects, which typically resolve soon after the treatment. Patients sometimes describe ‘seeing colors’ or similar transitory effects.

Rare: Elevated blood pressure and heart rate. These, and other measures are monitored during the infusion to manage any immediate risks.

While ketamine is considered a safe drug in medical clinics or hospitals, it is still a very serious drug and should be used in appropriate settings with appropriate safeguards in place. Ketamine should be provided by professionals trained in its use and with emergency equipment, medications and contingency plans in place. Ketamine should not be used in a home setting. It is even important to review the qualifications of clinical providers who provide treatments.
 
Alternatives to Ketamine Infusions

For patients considering alternative treatments, options may include conventional antidepressants, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Each alternative has its own set of benefits and considerations, and the best choice will depend on individual patient needs and medical history.

Ketamine has few contraindications and does not conflict with or prohibit the use of most other treatments or therapies. It is often appropriate to pursue some other treatments while receiving ketamine treatments. In fact, it can be especially helpful to pursue psychotherapy while receiving ketamine infusion therapies and we even offer Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy for this very purpose.
 
Research

There is a large and growing body of research on ketamine infusion treatments. A good starting point is our research page, which includes analysis of our own clinical data from the infusions we have provided.

Recent research supports additional use and efficacy:

New studies show that ketamine is effective in treating treatment-resistant anxiety, even in a population that has both treatment-resistant anxiety and treatment-resistant depression, which is generally understood to be more difficult to treat due to more severe symptoms and higher probability of relapse.

Recent studies have reinforced ketamine’s capacity to rapidly reduce symptoms of suicidality. For patients with sucidial ideation or thoughts, 78 percent showed gradual or rapid improvement of symptoms following intravenous (IV) ketamine treatment.