Are you considering ketamine therapy for depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Dr. Hadi Estakhri offers ketamine therapy — either intravenous ketamine or a nasal spray called Spravato® — here at Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California.
While ketamine therapy offers potential benefits for a variety of mental health conditions, getting started with ketamine therapy requires preparation and understanding of what to expect. Because your ketamine therapy is part of your unique treatment plan, Dr. Estakhri reviews all your specific preparation steps with you prior to your treatment.
In the meantime, here’s a general overview of what you can expect from ketamine therapy and how to prepare for it.
Understanding your ketamine therapy journey
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that, when administered in lower doses, has shown promise in alleviating symptoms of mental health conditions, most notably treatment-resistant depression. Research shows that significant improvement is detectable in as little as one hour after the first dose.
It's typically administered intravenously in a controlled medical setting, but it can be delivered through a nasal spray as well.
What to expect during your consultation
Whether you’re interested in the nasal spray or the intravenous infusion, your first step is a consultation. During this initial meeting, you and Dr. Estakhri discuss your medical history, current mental health symptoms, and treatment goals. Bring a list of all of your current medications (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, and supplements.
Some medications and supplements may be contraindicated with ketamine therapy. For example, if you receive Spravato, you will need to avoid other nasal sprays during the hour before your treatment. Be open and honest during this conversation to ensure the most effective treatment plan.
Following your consultation, Dr. Estakhri develops an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan may include details about the frequency of your ketamine treatments, your dosages, the anticipated duration of your therapy, and any additional treatments or therapies.
What to expect during your ketamine therapy
Ketamine therapy typically involves a series of treatment sessions. You will be monitored throughout the session to ensure your safety.
National Institutes of Health researchers have labeled ketamine infusions as “relatively free of side effects.” That being said, it’s important to know about the most common side effects. Ketamine therapy can make you feel loopy, or you may experience floating sensations, tingling sensations, mild hallucinations, or out-of-body experiences.
Keep in mind that the dose of ketamine used to treat mental health conditions is far lower than the dose needed for anesthesia. These potential side effects are mild and short-lived. Many dissipate right after your therapy ends, but you may continue to feel groggy.
Because of this, you need to plan for a friend or family member to drive you home from your therapy. After a good night’s sleep, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed.
What to expect after your ketamine therapy
While studies show that ketamine therapy can provide rapid relief, know that it may not provide immediate relief, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working for you. Some people may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Address any concerns you have with Dr. Estakhri.
If you do experience relief from your symptoms, continue to follow all instructions from Dr. Estakhri even if you feel good. You may continue to benefit from:
- Lifestyle modifications, such as eating a nutrient-dense diet and exercising regularly
- Practicing good sleep hygiene
- Avoiding alcohol
If it helps, consider keeping a journal when undergoing ketamine therapy so you can track your progress.
Get started with a consultation
Preparing for a successful ketamine therapy journey involves understanding the process, having a support system in place, and being patient with your treatment timeline. With the guidance of the Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health team, ketamine therapy can be a transformative tool on your path to improved mental health.
Questions? To learn more about ketamine therapy, schedule a consultation today by calling us at 949-945-0927 or booking an appointment online.