Ketamine Treatment California

Ketamine Treatment in California for Mood Disorders & Chronic Pain


You probably know ketamine from its use as an anesthetic or an adjunct to local anesthesia during surgery and other invasive procedures. But did you know that low-dose IV ketamine can be used as an off-label medication for treatment-resistant mental disorders such as chronic depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder?

According to mental health experts in Los Angeles, ketamine is one of the biggest breakthroughs in depression treatment in the past 50 years. IV ketamine also has a strong analgesic effect which makes it ideal for managing chronic pain syndromes.

Have you have been diagnosed with a treatment-resistant mood disorder or a persistent pain condition that never seems to get better even after trying several conventional treatment options? Ketamine infusions may be the answer you have been looking for! Schedule a free ketamine consultation with our Los Angeles-based ketamine clinic today and let us help you get your life back on track. Our ketamine services are available to all residents of Los Angeles and the entire state of California.

What is Ketamine?

As mentioned earlier, ketamine is a widely-used anesthetic that was developed in the early 1960s. The drug went on to become the most reliable anesthetic at the time thanks to its ability to induce and maintain anesthesia during surgery. Ketamine also has a strong analgesic effect which significantly reduces post-operative pain. Ketamine officially became an FDA-approved anesthetic in 1970 after passing clinical trials.

Immediately following its FDA-approval, ketamine gained a lot of popularity as a field anesthetic towards the end of the Vietnam War. However, the use of ketamine has decreased significantly over the years thanks to the discovery of more efficient anesthetics. The restrictions put in place to curb the illegal use of ketamine as a recreational drug due to its hallucinogenic effects have also played a role in its decreased use.

Interestingly, the last two decades have seen ketamine re-emerge as an off-label medication for treatment-resistant mental health disorders and chronic pain conditions. Its great success especially in managing mental disorders has led to its inclusion in the List of Essential Medicines by the World Health Organization.

The Ketamine Infusion Process

Ketamine can be administered intravenously, orally, intranasally, and through intramuscular routes. However, IV ketamine has the highest bioavailability and is by far the most reliable mode of administration. The treatment process involves the administration of low doses of ketamine intravenously by a qualified anesthesia expert in a medical setting.

Since ketamine is an off-label medication for chronic pain and mental disorders, there are no set guidelines that dictate the number of infusions a patient should receive. However, it is widely accepted that a patient should receive between 6 to 12 infusions during the loading phase of the treatment depending on the condition being treated, its severity, and the patient’s responsiveness to ketamine treatments.

The loading doses are administered within a span of two to four weeks, and should be enough to offer partial or complete remission from pain or symptoms of mental illnesses. The loading phase of the ketamine treatment course is followed up with the maintenance phase which involves at least one or more ketamine treatments or booster infusions every month or as prescribed by the doctor. Just like the name suggests, the maintenance phase is meant to prolong the remission.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Mental Disorders

The term mental disorder refers to a wide range of mental health problems that affect a person’s mood and emotional well-being. Also known as mood disorders, mental illnesses can be caused by a wide variety of factors including trauma, excessive stress, genetic predisposition, brain structure, physical illness, and certain medications.

Without proper medical assistance, mood disorders can have life-changing consequences. For instance, a report published by the National Institute of Mental Health states that mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are some of the leading causes of suicide in the United States. Apart from being a risk factor for suicide, mood disorders can also ruin relationships, destroy careers, and rob you of the will to live if left untreated.

Although ketamine is not a cure for mental disorders, the drug is proving to be more effective than traditional medications in reducing the symptoms of common mood disorders like depression, PTSD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicidal ideations. Ketamine infusion therapy has also become a lifeline for patients who have failed to respond to conventional medications or therapies.

What makes ketamine special is how the drug works. You see, traditional medications for depression and anxiety disorders operate on the premise that mood disorders are caused by poor communication between nerve cells in the brain due to a deficiency of chemical neurotransmitters. As such, the medications work by controlling the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate. However, recent studies show that mental disorders are caused by impaired nerve connection in the brain due to external stressors.

Ketamine works by triggering the repair of these nerve connections. This helps restore healthy communication between nerve cells in the brain and is responsible for the rapid improvement in mood. Due to its “healing effect” on the brain, IV ketamine can offer long-term remission from symptoms of mental disorders. Various studies have shown that a single ketamine infusion can greatly reduce symptoms associated with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety within just a few hours.

IV Ketamine Therapy for Chronic Pain Management

Pain is a common and healthy sensation that we all experience when we are sick or injured. It is simply the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong. Normally, the pain only lasts as long as the injury or sickness causing it. However, there are cases where the pain outlasts the injury-causing it and may get worse as time goes by. This is known as chronic pain. By definition, chronic pain is a persistent form of pain that lasts for weeks or months.

In 2016, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that approximately 50 million American adults had chronic pain. Some of the most commonly diagnosed chronic pain conditions include cancer pain, migraines, chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), arthritis pain, neurogenic pain, post-trauma pain, post-surgical pain, lower back pain, small fiber neuropathy, phantom limb pain, psychogenic pain, restless leg syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and fibromyalgia just to mention a few.

If left untreated, chronic pain can take a toll on your physical and emotional health and make your life miserable. Conditions that may arise from untreated chronic pain include liver damage, limited mobility, disturbed sleep, anxiety, depression, decreased immunity, memory loss, and disturbed sleep.

There is a wide range of treatment options like therapy and medication that can be used to manage chronic pain. However, when conventional pain treatments fail to work, it is time to try ketamine infusions. Being an FDA-approved anesthetic, ketamine has a very strong analgesic effect which, as mentioned earlier, helps combat pain during and after surgery.

Ketamine treatment can also help reverse opioid tolerance and prevent inflammation. For several years now, our ketamine clinic has been helping residents of Los Angeles and other parts of California overcome chronic pain and live quality lives. Although the drug might not be considered a first-line treatment for chronic pain, it is a more effective and reliable alternative to conventional pain treatments.

How is Ketamine Better than Traditional Anti-depressants?

In the last two decades, ketamine has been in the spotlight thanks to its previously unknown potential to treat major depression, anxiety, and chronic pain disorders. Billed as the future of mental health treatments, ketamine has several advantages over conventional medications. Listed below are some of the advantages of using ketamine over anti-depressants:

Long-terms Symptom Remission

Patients undergoing ketamine treatments can enjoy relief from symptoms of mental illnesses for up to one month before needing a booster infusion. This is unlike conventional anti-depressants which have to be taken on a daily basis for them to keep working. Discontinuing anti-depressants would result in re-emergence of the symptoms.

Higher Efficacy

Medical data from several randomized studies show that ketamine infusions are highly effective and can offer rapid symptom relief in up to 70% of patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. As an off-label medication, ketamine infusion therapy is not covered by medical insurance. But thanks to its high efficacy, more and more health insurance providers are now likely to offer partial or full reimbursements for ketamine treatments.

Minimal side effects

Antidepressants have been known to cause serious life-changing side effects when used for long periods. Some of the common side effects include liver damage, low sex drive, increased risk for heart disease, dizziness, emotional numbness, suicidality, tremors, headaches, and dependency issues. Low-dose ketamine is seen as an ideal depression treatment because it has no long-term side effects.

Quick Results

Normally, antidepressants take between 2 to 6 weeks to start working. This can seek like a very long period for people experiencing very severe cases of mood disorders. IV ketamine can offer relief from depression symptoms within a few hours and is, without doubt, one of the fastest-acting depression medications available today.

Wide Range of Clinical Applications

Apart from depression, ketamine IV therapy is also effective in managing co-occurring disorders such as PTSD, OCD, addiction, and chronic pain.

Is Ketamine Therapy Safe?

Since the early part of the 21st century, numerous studies have been conducted to determine the efficacy and safety of using subanaesthetic doses of ketamine to manage chronic pain and treat mood disorders. The results show that ketamine is not only more effective than conventional medications but also highly tolerable among patients. However, some patients have reported a few temporary side effects, some of which can be prevented.

These side effects include mild hallucinations, dry mouth, nausea, high blood pressure, elevated respiratory rate, temporary dissociation, and increased heart rate. Due to some of the side effects, patients with certain conditions might be excluded from receiving ketamine treatments.

This includes people with a history of psychotic conditions, people with high blood pressure or heart-related diseases, pregnant women, people diagnosed with substance use disorders, and people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. It is worth stressing that ketamine should only be administered by a qualified doctor to avoid complications that may arise from an overdose.

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is a new evidence-based treatment program that brings together ketamine treatments and psychotherapy in a bid to cure mood disorders once and for all. Esketamine is another emerging ketamine-based treatment option that was recently approved by the FDA for managing treatment-refractory depression. Though not as effective as IV ketamine, probably due to the low absorption rate, esketamine is still highly reliable and easy to administer. Just like ketamine, this nasal spray should be administered and closely monitored by a qualified physician.

Is Ketamine Treatment for You?

If you are interested in learning more about how our ketamine treatments in California can help you or perhaps a loved one, call us today at 818-217-8699 and schedule your free consultation.

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