What is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy can help those with mental health disorders and chronic pain. Know more about its healing effects.

What are ketamine’s origins and history?

Ketamine originated as an animal anesthetic in the 1960s, quickly gaining FDA approval for use in people in 1970. During the Vietnam War, it was frequently used to administer battlefield treatments for injured soldiers.

Due to the fact that ketamine doesn’t have an effect on a patient’s breathing, it can be safely used without the need for a ventilator. This unique quality quickly earned ketamine distinction as an excellent option for use by emergency responders.

A person riding a horse near an enormous rock face

What is ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication, classified as a Schedule III non-narcotic, that is commonly used as a general anesthetic in medical procedures in which muscle relaxation is not required.

In addition to using ketamine as an anesthetic, doctors may also prescribe it for “off-label” use. Off-label use allows licensed medical professionals to provide patients with an FDA-approved substance, but for uses that have yet to be officially approved by the agency. There are many medications that have well-known and well-documented off-label uses, including ketamine.

Mental health professionals sometimes use low-dose ketamine treatments to help reduce the symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain. Presently, ketamine for mental health treatments is still considered off-label use, though its advocates are hopeful it will gain approval in the near future.

What is ketamine therapy?

Ketamine is most commonly known for its use as an operating room anesthetic. But in recent years, a growing number of researchers, mental health professionals, and even patients have begun to discuss the ways in which ketamine may be able to help those suffering from debilitating mental health conditions and chronic pain.

Whether you’re considering ketamine treatments as an option for yourself or a loved one, consider reading the quick guide on ketamine therapy below in order for you to better understand its origins, effects, and therapeutic properties.


How does ketamine therapy work?

Ketamine is administered through injections and the sessions last up to two hours. Outpatient intramuscular treatments at Klarisana are fundamentally different from the use of ketamine in an ER or operating room, once the doses administered are much lower than those used in a hospital setting.

Throughout the sessions, patients remain conversant and very aware, as their vitals are monitored at regular intervals to ensure they are maintained within safe parameters. Also, patients are kept under continuous visual observation by the clinical staff in order to fully comply with their safety protocol.

Ketamine IM treatments, especially when coupled with ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, represent a totally different and disruptive paradigm for the treatment of mental health conditions. When used in the context of Targeted Receptor Therapy along with medications such as lidocaine and magnesium, ketamine can be effective at breaking the cycle of many forms of chronic pain as well.

What are the effects of ketamine treatments?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning that it is used to induce a dream-like state of consciousness. The effects of low-dose ketamine use can include conscious sedation and reduced awareness of pain, which is largely why it has been such a constant presence in healthcare clinics and operating rooms for many years.

Ketamine effects can also include altered perceptions of sights and sounds. In many cases, ketamine therapy relies on low doses of ketamine to trigger short periods of psychedelic effects, generally accompanied by complementary treatments such as counseling.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that the psychedelic experience of ketamine is one of individual nature. Every patient is different and, for that reason, ketamine reacts individually to each patient’s unique identity. With that in mind, our medical team creates customized therapy plans that combine intramuscular ketamine therapy with psychotherapy and other medical treatments to help you recapture the purpose of living you may have thought forever lost.

What is ketamine used for medically?

Besides being an FDA-approved general anesthetic that can be combined with other general anesthetics, like nitrous oxide, ketamine can also be prescribed off-label for the treatment of mental disorders such as:

There are also many other off-label uses for ketamine. In an emergency department setting, ketamine can be used for rapid, short-term sedation for:

Ketamine may be used in low doses to reduce severe pain that stems from:

Ongoing research is exploring ketamine for treating status epilepticus, a medical condition in which a person experiences either a seizure lasting more than 5 minutes or multiple seizures in a 5 minute span.

Ketamine may be effective as a depression treatment for individuals who have not responded well to other treatment options. When a person is diagnosed with treatment resistant depression, meaning that their symptoms have not been effectively mitigated with antidepressants and other methods, their doctor may suggest ketamine therapy.

Studies have also shown ketamine to be a potential treatment for individuals with anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Schedule an appointment

If you are interested in getting more information about how ketamine may be able to support your well-being, our team is at your disposal to answer your treatment questions and provide details about using ketamine for your specific needs, as well as any other doubts you may still have regarding ketamine therapy.

Have we not clarified your doubts?

Great experience and great company. I’m so glad that this treatment is available for anyone experiencing anxiety, depression or PTSD…these treatments helped me feel strong enough…

Lura I., Anxiety

… ketamine is the only treatment that gives me true, real, and lasting relief.

May G., Severe Depression

I feel like an actual person again and like I can live my life.

Heather H., Chronic Pain
Discover More