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Ketamine: Everything You Need to Know

Ketamine: Everything You Need to Know

What is Ketamine used for?

Ketamine is a prescription drug used to treat many pain and mental health conditions. Patients with certain neurological pain conditions are historically prescribed dynamic treatment plans. Plans commonly include high doses of opiates. Since they can be highly addictive more and more patients look for alternative treatment options. One therapy gaining traction, psychedelic therapy.

While we are still learning about the drug’s therapeutic benefits, we know it acts as an anesthetic. We’ve also learned it relieves pain for some conditions. One publication (Niesters, Martini, & Dahan) cites other potential benefits of ketamine therapy include anti-inflammatory effects. In other cases, it helps patients block sensory perception. Patients also report it produces relaxation and relieves pain.  (Oye , O Paulsen, A Maurset)

Consequently law enforcement uses ketamine as a submission tool in certain states. It’s highly sedative and can immobilize users. It has a lot of street names, like “K”, “special K”, “super K” and more. Users report euphoric and dissociative experiences, some unsure if they were speaking out-loud.

IV ketamine infusion therapy
IV Infusion Therapy might look like any other IV Vitamin or rejuvenation therapies. Alternative medicine is going a long way. IV Ketamine therapy might look like any other IV Vitamin or rejuvenation therapy. Alternative medicine is going a long way. | Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

How do people take their “K”?

People consumer ketamine using three different delivery methods. They include; liquid, powder, and pills. Liquid is clear and commonly used for infusion therapy. Surprisingly, it’s also used in nasal spray applications. Liquid ketamine is always seen in therapeutic settings.

Powder is all recreational. It can look white or off-white. People snort it, inject it, and otherwise ingest it. Ketamine can be fatal if abused. Always consult with a physician familiar with your individual background.

Don’t be fooled by pills. Ketamine is not used medicinally in pill form, meaning there’s no way to know how or even where it was made. Recreational Special K pills are made when the powder is put in a capsule. This delivery method is unsafe and unregulated.

The therapeutic value of recreational ketamine is non-existent.

All therapeutic forms of ketamine are liquid with an IV or nasal-spray delivery method. However not all liquid forms are therapeutic.
All therapeutic forms of ketamine are liquid with an IV or nasal-spray delivery method. However not all liquid forms are therapeutic.
PhotoPhoto by Julia Koblitz on Unsplash

What is IV Infusion Therapy?

The FDA approved its use decades ago for use as an anesthetic. Only recently patients with treatment-resistant depression in conjunction with doctors are using it off-label. IV ketamine infusion therapy is not a treatment for depression right out of the gates. People turn to IV Ketamine therapy when antidepressant medications fail.

This therapy takes effect right away. The immediate sensations peak and dissipate throughout one session. Sessions can last anywhere from one to four hours.  That being said, some patients report a feeling of relief for days, even weeks afterwards.

A typical patient treatment plan might include a series of say six infusions over two to three weeks. This initial phase is called an “induction” phase. After that, a maintenance or booster period begins. Patients then return for one infusion every two to six weeks for a prescribed time. Doctors also prescribe ketamine to treat bipolar disorder.

In one study, it took an average of three infusions for participants to see results. Ketamine therapies of any kind are not usually recommended for patients experiencing mania, active psychosis, or unstable cardiovascular disease.

Drug Addiction Hotline SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
f you or anyone you know is suffering from an addiction to Ketamine or Special K, help is available.
Please call SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Photo by Tsvetoslav Hristov on Unsplash

Is it Ketamine?

Firstly ketamine is part of an emerging trend of psychedelic alternative medicine therapies. Surprisingly, people are not prone to addiction when they take it in a controlled setting. The lessened risk might be attributed to lower doses and supportive environments.  For example, an anesthetic treatment requires a higher dose than a depression treatment. 

Moreover, for folks using the drug recreationally and outside of a professional care addiction and abuse rates are different.

Can you overdose on Ketamine?

A lethal dose of Ketamine is estimated to be averaged at 600 mg/kg or 4.2 g for a 70 kg human (Orhurhu, Vashisht, Claus, Cohen). However, deadly blood concentrations can range from 0.1 to 7.0 mg/l and are often found with other drugs such as ethanol, opiates, amphetamine, or cocaine reports one journal.

It is difficult to say what leads to toxic buildup and overdose. Tolerance and therapeutic thresholds vary for various people. Factors a healthcare provider might consider are body mass, age, underlying medical or mental health conditions, and abuse history.

The fastest delivery methods are by IV and snorting. These methods also pave the fast track to overdose so always consult with a licensed professional. Experimenting with the drug alone or recreationally can be dangerous.

Injecting the drug gives it a direct line into the bloodstream. Subsequently, it can be more difficult to recognize potential overdose if not formulated properly. As a result, ketamine is supposed to be slowly pushed into the body at very low dosages to avoid negative side effects. Moreover, it’s important to note that overdose can occur in varying doses.

People experience ketamine differently and the length of experience will vary from person-to-person.
People will respond differently to IV Infusion therapy. Ketamine treatment options might not be right for everyone. Always consult with your provider for health advise. Contact us to reach infusion therapists in your area.

How long do the effects of IV Therapy last?

The half-life of ketamine as an active ingredient is around 45 minutes. The average elimination time is about four hours and 30 minutes. To clarify, with averages it’s important to note that everyone may not share the same response.

Is Ketamine legal in the United States?

Ketamine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patients with a number of different mental health conditions benefit from off-label uses. However, ketamine is only legal under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Above all, to learn more about ketamine therapy or help finding a provider contact us today.

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