How safe is ketamine therapy?
Ketamine has been widely used in medicine for anesthesia and pain for decades, but its potential to facilitate significant symptom reduction in a host of mental health concerns represents a more recent revolution in the field of psychiatry.
Ketamine is a synthetic pharmaceutical compound classified as a dissociative anesthetic. It is one of the most widely used medications in modern medicine and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Ketamine was first developed in 1963, FDA-approved in 1970, and adopted by many hospitals and medical clinics because of its rapid onset, proven safety, and short duration of action.
Ketamine is commonly used in surgical settings, including pediatric surgery, due to its excellent safety profile, particularly around breathing/airway management. It has also been utilized successfully in managing acute and chronic pain conditions due to its analgesic properties.
In the past two decades, ketamine has been increasingly clinically applied to subanesthetic doses as an off-label treatment for various chronic treatment-resistant mental health conditions, such as depression, alcoholism, substance dependencies, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, and other psychiatric diagnoses.
Our medical providers are licensed to administer sedation for non-anesthetic purposes in keeping with KAP treatment purpose and protocols. Our medical providers have relevant current advanced life support certification and a medical provider is on site and available to recognize and treat airway complications and rescue a patient who enters a deeper than intended level of sedation. Our medical providers have access during the procedure to an advanced cardiac life support crash cart and each treatment room is prestaged with airway adjuncts, including ambu bag, oral and nasal airways.
As an outpatient clinic, our providers only work with individuals who are medically stable. If an individual is determined to be medically unstable, we refer directly to a higher level of care. Treatment plans may require ongoing monitoring to provide the safety and support needed for effective treatment.
As an outpatient clinic, we do not provide urgent, emergent, or crisis evaluations. For any urgent health concerns or emergencies, please contact the following:
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
911 or local emergency department
What medical monitoring is included during ketamine therapy?
Prior to receiving medication, the medical providers assess vitals, inform patient of the level of sedation being administered, the medications and doses individual will receive, and provide a description of the medical monitoring to be used during the dosing session.
Dosing session medical management includes medical check and vitals to proceed to dosing, continuous vitals throughout dosing, medication administration and ongoing oversight by medical provider.