IV Therapy & Spravato. Schedule a virtual visit


Skip to main content

Are Ketamine Treatments Safe?

Are Ketamine Treatments Safe?

Ketamine dates back to the 1950s when researchers started to study the analgesic effects of this compound. The drug was also used as a military anesthetic in the 1970s as well as a veterinary anesthetic. More recently, ketamine has been used to treat patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and anxiety.

However, because ketamine has been abused as a street drug, many people who could potentially benefit from it in a clinical setting wonder if it’s safe.  

There are crucial differences between the use of ketamine as a street drug, however, and a doctor’s administration of ketamine in a supervised therapeutic setting. Here’s what you need to know.

Is ketamine safe?

There are numerous studies supporting the efficacy of ketamine therapy for mental health conditions. For example, one study highlighted that ketamine had a “robust and immediate” effect on depression.

Under careful medical supervision, ketamine therapy can provide substantial and safe benefits to those with mental health conditions who aren’t responding to typical treatments. The biggest difference between safe and dangerous ketamine usage comes down to the supervision (or lack thereof) of an experienced medical provider. Here in our Newport Beach, California office, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Hadi Estakhri offers ketamine infusion-based treatment as well as a nasal spray in a safe and controlled environment. 

Dr. Estakhri understands the nuances of ketamine therapy, which is why he conducts thorough evaluations before delivering it. He thoroughly screens each patient for any potential conflicts such as drug interactions with other medications. Below is a list of reasons why ketamine therapy might not be right for you:

If you don’t have any of the above-listed contraindications, Dr. E may consider you a good candidate if:

Regardless of whether you receive the IV infusion of ketamine or the Spravato® nasal spray, rest assured that you’re under continuous supervision. During your treatment, you can expect to spend about two hours in our office.

The effects of ketamine are partly why the supervision of a doctor is crucial to its safety. It’s not uncommon to experience floating sensations, and staying in our office gives the medicine a chance to wear off while Dr. Estakhri continues to monitor you. In addition to monitoring for any adverse or hypersensitive reaction, Dr. Estakhri also takes this time to fine-tune your prescription. 

Staying safe after your treatment

While it’s safe to receive ketamine under a medical provider’s supervision, you won’t be up to driving yourself home afterward, not unlike receiving anesthesia for a procedure. To ensure your safety, you need a trusted family member or friend to get you home. 

Once you’re home, you may feel tired, but after a good night of sleep, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed. Follow any and all post-treatment instructions as thoroughly as possible. 

Are you ready to try ketamine therapy?

We know that it can be disappointing and frustrating to try the tried-and-true methods for depression without any relief, but know that ketamine therapy is different. Ketamine therapy isn’t a first-line of defense for any psychiatric treatment, but for those with treatment-resistant conditions, ketamine can be a breath of fresh air and a renewed hope for the future.

If you’re not ready to try ketamine infusions or nasal sprays yet, that’s okay. Dr. E can diagnose and treat mental health conditions with more conservative methods, such as antidepressant medications, anxiety medications, and other psychiatric medications. 

If you’re struggling with one (or more) mental health conditions and want to explore the possibility of ketamine infusions or nasal sprays, request an appointment today. You can also book an appointment by calling us at 949-258-7135. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Who Is Eligible for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Who Is Eligible for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Whether you’re combatting treatment-resistant depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you might wonder if ketamine infusion is right for you. In this blog, we discuss the eligibility criteria in more detail.
4 Ways Anxiety Can Creep Into Your Life

4 Ways Anxiety Can Creep Into Your Life

Anxiety can lead to some pretty intense feelings, but it can also manifest in more subtle ways. Read on to learn four ways anxiety can creep into your life and how we can help you find relief.
Does Ketamine Therapy Only Treat Depression?

Does Ketamine Therapy Only Treat Depression?

Ketamine therapy gives hope to those suffering from treatment-resistant depression, but the benefits don’t stop there. Read on to see how ketamine therapy can be incorporated into other treatment plans as well.

5 Myths About OCD Debunked

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by cycles of obsessive thoughts and ritualistic behaviors. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding this condition. Read on to separate fact from fiction.