Many people have heard of ketamine as an animal anesthetic or as a club drug. What most have not heard about this drug is the extensive studies about its rapid impact on depression and anxiety. The dosing of ketamine is critical. When used for treatment it is given in 1/10 to 1/20th the dose for anesthesia and is given slowly over 45 minutes rather than over 1 to 10 seconds.
Symptoms that have seen improvement, often within hours, include moodiness, decreased concentration, low self-esteem, impaired sleep, decreased sexual desire, impaired appetite, and suicidal thoughts. In fact, the recent study at Yale University showed that ketamine can re-establish interrupted nerve connections that are necessary to process and overcome traumatic memories.
Ketamine therapy impacts both mood and anxiety and can result in positive treatment outcomes for the following disorders:
- Severe or Chronic Depression
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Partum Depression (PPD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Ketamine Therapy coordinated by Dr. Wong is a safe, reliable treatment tailored to your unique medical profile. We administer the therapy using state-of-the-art technology and monitor and evaluate your response and progress carefully.
Do I need to be referred by a psychiatrist?
No. Dr. Wong will probably not require you to be referred by a psychiatrist. However, he or she may want to discuss your diagnosis and treatment to date with other doctors who have been seeing you.
Where is the treatment performed?
All treatment is outpatient and is performed in Dr. Wong’s professional offices.
Will Ketamine Therapy help my treatment resistant depression?
Based on searches of major medical centers over the past fifteen years, and in our experience, up to 70% of all patients can expect significant, and fast, relief. Of course, we cannot predict any individual’s results. Our treatment is tailored in terms of frequency and dosage to each person, and we believe it offers your best chance of success.
How many ketamine infusions will I receive?
That will depend on your response. Most patients receive a series of six infusions.
What happens after my series of ketamine infusions?
Following the initial series of infusions, most patients choose, in consultation with their doctors, to begin a maintenance program, returning for single infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
If ketamine therapy works for me how soon will I begin to feel better?
Some patients will begin to feel better within hours of the first infusion. Patients with thoughts of self-harm often notice those thoughts dissipating first. There can be a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness. Other patients may not notice any mood improvement until the next day. Some patients will require a second (or even a third) infusion before feeling better.
Will I require ketamine infusions for the rest of my life?
No. Some patients seem to achieve long-term relief after a series of infusions.
What should I expect during ketamine therapy?
Ketamine is administered over a period of 40 minutes. The dose is determined by your weight. The amount of ketamine administered is not enough to cause a loss of consciousness, so you will remain awake. During the infusion, some patients experience odd perceptions—like seeing bright colors. Some report what is referred to as a “dissociative”, or “out of body” experience. These are side effects of ketamine that may be important for ketamine’s ultimate effectiveness. Most patients tolerate the experiences with no trouble, and many people find them pleasant. Once the infusion is complete, the dissociative effects of the drug rapidly dissipate. There are no delayed “flashbacks,” and patients generally leave the office within 30 minutes following the infusion and feel quite normal.
Are there other side effects I should be concerned about?
Occasionally patients experience some nausea following an infusion. If so, there is medication that will help. More rarely, a patient may experience a transient headache. Patients can expect to be tired following the infusion. Very, very rarely, patients already at risk for seizure have reportedly experienced one. If you have a seizure disorder, please be sure to discuss it with your doctor prior to receiving ketamine therapy.
I am bi-polar, will ketamine make me hypomanic?
Hypomania has not been reported following ketamine therapy.
What medical conditions could keep me from receiving ketamine?
There are very few. Dr. Wong will discuss contraindications with you before you receive your first infusion.
Are ketamine infusions addictive?
Do I need to bring someone with me?
You do not need to have someone bring you or accompany you during the infusion, but we request that you have someone bring you home. We advise you not to drive a car until the following morning.
Can I eat or drink before my appointment?
You cannot eat for the 4 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. You may have clear liquids up until 2 hours before your appointment.
Will my current psychiatric medications interfere with ketamine treatment?
Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclics) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop them. Ketamine infusions can provide relief during the time it takes antidepressant medications to begin working. Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.
Will my insurance company pay for ketamine therapy?
Because ketamine therapy for mood and anxiety disorders is recent and still viewed as experimental, insurance companies do not provide reimbursement.
ABOUT DR. KATHLEEN Wong
Kathleen M. Wong, MD, is a practice providing general adult outpatient psychiatric care. Dr Wong is a psychiatrist who has been practicing in Northwest Arkansas since 2004. After graduating with her MD from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, she completed residency training in psychiatry at Barnes-Jewish Hospitals with Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. Following this, she became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston. Current interests include the Temperament Character Inventory, a personality assessment tool. She is an Assistant Professor, Clinical Educator for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Research Institute – Northwest. She maintains her status as a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
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If you would like treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD, please contact us today.
28 W Sunbridge Dr, Fayetteville, AR 72703