What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine infusion therapy is a safe alternative for treating treatment resistant depression and major depressive disorder. We get a lot of questions from patients on preparing for ketamine infusion therapy so we wrote this blog to help. You can read more about the history of ketamine and answer some FAQ's about ketamine on our previous blog posts. Or, feel free to contact our office at (720) 400-7025 for a free consultation.
Preparing for Ketamine Infusion
Even if you're excited about getting relief for your treatment resistant depression or major depressive disorder, getting your first ketamine infusion or any medical procedure can be scary. The night before ketamine infusion is an important part of your treatment. Here are a few tips and tricks to improve outcomes with ketamine infusions.
- Get a good night’s rest: You will have to sit for 40 minutes to 2 hours during your treatment. This is much easier to do if you are not overtired or stressed. Getting a good night’s sleep can help you relax during your treatment session.
- Don’t eat or drink: You shouldn’t eat or drink anything six hours before your treatment session is scheduled to begin. The treatment may cause you to vomit and feel nauseated, which is why you shouldn’t have food and drinks sitting in your stomach during the treatment.
- Prepare your mind: Don’t watch anything too sad or violent before your appointment. Your mindset is important to your treatment. It’s important to be calm and relaxed the night before your treatment. Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and you can find many free options on YouTube or on your mobile app. Many patients ask us for our ketamine infusion playlist for subsequent visits to help them relax the night before. Others prepare mantras for ketamine or "intentions" they can mentally repeat while in treatment.
- Dress comfortably: Since you have to remain seated during your treatment, you will want to wear comfortable clothing that isn’t binding or restrictive. Wear clothing you can feel relaxed in. Wear short sleeves for your infusion appointment.
- Get a ride: You will want someone to drive you to and from your treatment. You shouldn’t drive for the remainder of the day, so be sure to arrange a ride to and from your treatment session.
What To Bring On the Day Of Your Ketamine Infusion Appointment
Your appointment will last between 40 minutes and 2 hours. Bringing certain items with you can make your ketamine infusion experience more enjoyable and relaxing.
- Bring attire to keep you comfortable: Do you tend to get hot quickly? Wear short sleeves and shorts, and bring a handheld fan. Do you tend to get cold easily? Feel free to layer on your clothing or bring a blanket or two with you. Got cold feet? Bring spa socks and foot balm to keep your feet warm and moisturized.
- Bring the right sounds: What to listen to during ketamine infusion therapy is a very important question as music plays an important role in the experience. We will provide you with noise-canceling headphones. However, you are also free to bring your headphones and listen to your own music. Read our tips on what makes the best ketamine infusion music before you begin curating your ketamine playlist.
- We recommend instrumental music devoid of lyrics like binaural beats meditation.
- Choose music that provokes positive thoughts and emotions.
- Avoid music that provokes negative emotions in you.
- Make sure your playlist lasts for your entire treatment session (typically 2 hours).
- Eye mask: Some people like to keep their eyes open in a dark room. Others like the feeling of an eye mask, which allows them to relax deeply during the treatment process. We provide self-heating lavender eye masks for you to use during your appointment.
- Journal: A journal and a pen will allow you to write down your thoughts and experiences and we also provide journals in the treatment rooms for patients to write anonymously to each other advice and tips for better experiences.
These are just a few things you can bring to help you get the maximum benefit of ketamine treatments.
After Your Ketamine Infusion
Preparing for ketamine infusions should include a transportation plan or a support person you trust who can pick-you up and drive you home after your session. Patients are not allowed to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery on the day of their treatment. A restful night's sleep is recommended before resuming regular activities like working or driving.
Many patients schedule telehealth appointments with their therapists shortly after treatment to help process some of their emotions. We encourage patients to journal their thoughts and feelings while in our recovery rooms to share with their support network after treatment.
Side Effects of Ketamine Infusions
Ketamine treatment can cause high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, perceptual disturbances (time appearing to speed up or slow down; colors, textures, and noises that seem especially stimulating; blurry vision), and dissociation (sometimes called out-of-body experiences). Some patients experience a strong urge to urinate after treatment. These side effects are temporary and go away within a few hours after treatment. Preparing for ketamine infusion therapy appropriately can reduce some of the negative side effects that can come from treatment. Please also know that our staff is medically trained to keep you safe throughout the entire procedure.