Ketamine therapy has made significant inroads in the treatment of depression, transforming the lives of patients across the U.S. If you are considering ketamine for the first time, you may be wondering what the process is like. What does a ketamine injection for depression feel like? Let’s consider the experiences of real patients and walk through the process.
A ketamine injection is administered intramuscularly, which is the preferred option by most patients. Your nurse or doctor injects the medication directly into your arm, making it a safe procedure with a limited risk of infection. Some patients report minor pain during this part of the process, but the majority of reports state that any pain is quite mild and typical of an injection.
Consultation with a Psychiatric Professional
Prior to your first treatment, you will have a consultation with a member of the Andala psychiatric team. By reviewing your medical history, the doctor will be able to determine the right dosage for your treatments. This process is similar to any medical consultation you might have with a physician.
The Ketamine Injection Process
It is important to note that the medical professionals overseeing your ketamine injections are trained to ensure the most comfortable experience possible for patients. Ketamine treatments involve low doses, and any side effects should be minimal. As a patient, you can stop the process at any time. Working in partnership with your medical team ensures that you have the best experience possible with your ketamine injections.
As the ketamine enters the bloodstream, some patients state that they experience a tingling sensation; others say that they begin to feel slightly “heavier.” Another common sensation reported in patient testimonials is the feeling that one is somewhat detached from the body.
Some patients report that they begin to feel extremely calm and relaxed. During this part of the process, your team wants you to feel as comfortable as possible.
It is also important to maintain a positive frame of mind. Utilizing soothing music or even bringing along a loved one can ensure that you have as soothing an experience as possible. If you need to move during this stage of your treatment, it is important to ask for assistance, as your balance may be temporarily impaired.
In rare cases, some patients report side effects as the ketamine continues to work through the body. These can include nausea, faintness or headaches. If any of these symptoms present, let your team know so that they can address the issues as soon as possible.
The Observation Period
You will remain for a period of observation after your treatment that should last a little over an hour. During this time, many patients indicate that they return quickly to a regular state, though it is quite common to feel somewhat groggy right after. Coordination may be temporarily impaired. For this reason, you will need to have a companion who can drive you home after your procedure.
Typically, any side effects such as grogginess tend to disappear after about 3 hours. If any symptoms last longer than that, let your doctor know.
Many patients report feeling positive effects within their first few ketamine sessions. Treatment plans vary, but most patients have about 6 sessions within a 3-week period, with each session taking about 2 hours, including post-infusion observation.
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Ketamine is an increasingly important treatment in the world of mental health and well-being, providing relief to many patients experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
If you are interested in exploring how IM ketamine treatments can help you, get in touch with our team of professionals today. Ketamine treatments may be just what you need to feel relief from the symptoms of depression that complicate your life unnecessarily.
Contact us today to explore options for overcoming treatment-resistant depression.