If you’re struggling with mental health issues, consider visiting IV Solution’s new Ketamine Center (712 N. Dearborn St., 844-948-6337), where they offer intravenous ketamine therapies that have been proven to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorder, PTSD, and OCD. Here, chief medical officer Dr. Bal Nandra M.D. answers all our questions about how the treatment works, how soon you’ll experience relief, and whether it’s safe to undergo treatments while on medication.
How do ketamine treatments work to alleviate things like anxiety disorder, PTSD, and OCD? BAL NANDRA M.D.: Although not entirely known, the effects of ketamine on these disorders are related to its cellular NMDA receptor antagonism. The sub anesthetic doses used in our protocols are thought to be beneficial for the treatment of chronic pain and psychiatric illnesses.
How many treatments are needed? BN: Like in depression, a series of treatments is often needed to achieve relief of symptoms for a period of time of many weeks to months. Each disorder and every patient are different in their response and duration of relief between maintenance infusions.
How soon will patients feel the benefits? BN: Many patients will experience relief as early as after the very first infusion treatment with ketamine. Some will respond after two or three infusions.
After the initial round of treatments, should patients return for more infusions to control symptoms? BN: After the initial stabilization infusions, a patient will return for a single maintenance infusion as needed. The period between these maintenance infusions will vary with each patient, the severity of their symptoms, and other factors in their lives that may or may not affect their illnesses. Some patients may go three or four months with relief, whereas others may need maintenance visits monthly.
How do ketamine treatments compare to medications prescribed for anxiety, PTSD, and OCD? BN: These disorders are typically treated with medications that are anxiolytics and/or antidepressants. These oral medications can take many weeks to many months to work, whereas ketamine may be effective after just one single 45-minute infusion. Ketamine also lacks the undesirable side effects of certain antidepressants, which include fatigue, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, gastrointestinal disturbance, and emotion blunting.
Is it safe to undergo ketamine treatments while on medication? BN: You can undergo a ketamine infusion while on most of your current medications. We will collaborate with your primary physician or provider to ensure that your medications are in order prior to the treatment. Only certain medications need to be completely avoided and others may need to be slightly adjusted. We do not adjust or alter your medications without the guidance of your primary physician.