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Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic during surgery and other procedures. It’s also shown promise as a powerful treatment for certain mental disorders.

The medication works by blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain. These receptors play a crucial role in pain perception and signal transmission.

Blocking NMDA receptors disrupts communication between neurons, reducing pain signals and creating a feeling of detachment that is often described as “floating.” At higher doses, Ketamine causes unconsciousness, which is what makes it suitable as an anesthetic.

Ketamine interacts with other receptors like AMPA, as well, and this potentially contributes to its pain-relieving and sedative effects.

Emerging research shows that Ketamine can help with synaptogenesis, or the creation of new synapses within the brain. Ketamine has demonstrated success in treating conditions like treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health disorders.

Anecdotally, many patients report relief from debilitating mental illness symptoms after receiving supervised low-dose Ketamine IV therapy.

Is Ketamine an Opioid?

Because of its pain-relieving effects, Ketamine is often confused for an opioid. But it’s not a member of the opioid class of drugs.

Ketamine differs from opioids in its method of action. While opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors within the body, Ketamine primarily affects glutamate signaling in the brain.

Ketamine’s effects feel different. Opioids trigger the pain relief process in the body, but Ketamine leads to a feeling of dissociation that distances patients from pain.

For surgery, Ketamine is used at higher doses to cause painless unconsciousness. At lower doses, it can make the patient feel disconnected from their bodies, leading to decreased pain, anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings. Beyond these immediate effects, Ketamine seems to rewire the brain for long-term relief form mental health conditions.

Like opioids, Ketamine does have potential for abuse when taken illegally without medical supervision. When used in medically appropriate settings, however, it has a very good safety profile with low risk of addiction.

What is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy utilizes Ketamine’s ability to rewire the brain to treat conditions like:

  • Treatment-resistant depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Improving brain function to address issues like brain fog and forgetfulness

In this therapy, Ketamine is administered intravenously at a lower dose to avoid unconsciousness. Patients often describe feeling deeply relaxed with free-flowing thoughts. Once administered, Ketamine begins taking effect on the brain.

Many patients report an immediate improvement in their symptoms, while others see benefit after several sessions.

What’s the Benefit of Ketamine Therapy?

Compared to traditional treatments like antidepressants, Ketamine therapy has been associated with faster and more effective results. Some patients report experiencing positive changes within minutes of their first session, though individual results vary.

This response seems to be related to Ketamine’s impact on the brain.

Mental health disorders like depression show evidence of eroding synaptic connections, making the illness more resistant to traditional treatments. Ketamine shows promise in repairing these connections and building new ones to relieve symptoms of mental illness.

Ketamine Therapy is particularly impactful for patients whose mental illness has stopped responding to traditional therapies.

A woman stares contemplatively out of the window with one knee pulled up as she ponders what does ketamine do.

What is a Ketamine IV Treatment Like?

At Defy Medical, we administer Ketamine in a comfortable and calming environment.

The medication will be delivered intravenously over a period of 40-60 minutes. Throughout the session, a qualified healthcare professional will be present to monitor your well-being and address any concerns.

Defy Medical provides amenities like an eye mask, reclining chair, and headphones that play relaxing music.

Many patients report feeling a sense of calm and detachment during their IV session. You may imagine pleasant visualizations like a beach or a jungle. Typically, patients find the experience to be enjoyable.

Some patients don’t feel as much of an effect during their session, but Ketamine impacts synaptic connections regardless.

How Many Ketamine infusions Do I Need?

The number of Ketamine infusions you require depends on your unique situation, including the specific condition you’re seeking treatment for, its severity, and your own personal goals.

Research suggests that regular infusions, ranging from weekly to monthly, can lead to significant positive outcomes. However, it’s crucial to approach treatment in a customized way. At Defy Medical, we recognize this principle and tailor treatment plans accordingly.

During your consultation, our provider will work closely with you to understand your specific needs, concerns, and the condition(s) you wish to treat. Based on their expertise and your input, they’ll design a Ketamine infusion schedule optimized for you.

Many patients find that 4-8 weekly sessions produces significant results.

Who is Not a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?

While Ketamine treatment is generally considered safe, certain pre-existing conditions may make it unsuitable for some patients.

Here are situations where Ketamine therapy might not be recommended:

  • Heart or cardiovascular conditions: Ketamine can raise blood pressure and heart rate, potentially posing risks for those with pre-existing issues.
  • High blood pressure: While some with hypertension may be considered on a case-by-case basis, careful monitoring is essential.
  • Liver disease: Ketamine metabolism depends on the liver, so existing liver problems could be a contraindication.
  • Substance abuse disorders: Addiction history requires caution due to potential for misuse or psychological dependence.
  • Benzodiazepine dependence: Long-term use can reduce Ketamine’s effectiveness. In some cases, adjusting medication may be necessary. Keep in mind that you should never change your medication regimen without guidance from a medical provider.
  • Certain psychotic disorders: Ketamine, in rare cases, may worsen pre-existing psychosis.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Not advised due to safety concerns for mother and baby.

We recommend consulting with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss your specific situation and determine if Ketamine therapy is right for you.

Ketamine Therapy at the Defy Medical Tampa Clinic

Don’t settle for living with the debilitating symptoms of mental illness.

If traditional treatments haven’t delivered relief, consider the breakthrough potential of Ketamine IV therapy.

At Defy Medical, our welcoming Tampa clinic provides a safe and comfortable space for your Ketamine therapy. Under the supervision of an experienced provider, you’ll receive personalized Ketamine IV treatment designed to empower you to reclaim your life.

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