What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a transformational medicine of the mind. It can rapidly —often within an hour or two— lift the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other conditions.

A Trusted and Widely-Used Medicine

Ketamine was approved by the FDA in 1970 as an anesthetic and analgesic, and has been listed on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines since 1985.

Ketamine is also prescribed off-label to treat a wide range of mental health issues.

Safety information
Important Safety Information

Mindbloom pairs individuals with licensed clinicians who are trained to diagnose and treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.  If one of the licensed clinicians, in their medical judgment, decides that ketamine is an appropriate treatment for an individual based on a clinical assessment, then the clinician may prescribe ketamine tablets that are compounded by pharmacies under Section 503A of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).  Drugs compounded under Section 503A do not require FDA approval, and as such the FDA has not determined that the compounded ketamine prescribed is safe and effective for anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions.  The use of ketamine for anxiety, depression, and many other mental health conditions, however, is supported by a body of scientific literature.  (Data on file).

Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance. Other drugs containing ketamine, which (unlike compounded drugs) are subject to FDA’s approval requirements, have been FDA-approved as an intravenous or intramuscular injection solution for induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. However, those drugs have not been FDA-approved for anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions, and they have not been FDA-approved in tablet form. The approved label is available here.

Ketamine may cause serious side effects, including but not limited to risks of: sedation; dissociation; psychiatric events or worsening of psychiatric disorders, including problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders; dependence, abuse and misuse; anxiety; increases in blood pressure or heart rate; respiratory depression (breathing becomes slower and shallower and the lungs fail to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen efficiently); lower urinary tract and bladder symptoms, including frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size; altered sense of time; dry mouth; elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure; loss of appetite; confusion; nausea/vomiting; blurred vision; and slurred speech.

The FDA has advised that at-home administration of compounded ketamine may present additional risks because a health care provider is not available onsite to monitor for adverse outcomes resulting from sedation and dissociation.

Mindbloom’s protocols and guidance have been designed to minimize the likelihood of experiencing these side effects or other adverse effects, and should be followed carefully. Ketamine should only be taken as directed by the treating clinician.

Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:

  • Allergic to ketamine
  • Symptoms of psychosis or mania
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • CHF or other serious heart problem
  • Severe breathing problem
  • History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
  • History of hyperthyroidism
  • Other serious medical illness
  • Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant

Ketamine has been found to cause moderate psychological dependency in some users.

  • In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
  • Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders
  • Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your clinician before proceeding with treatment
  • The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents

To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:

  • Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
  • Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
  • Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
  • Do not take ketamine while hungover or with alcoholic beverages
  • Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
  • Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a peer treatment monitor physically present

A peer-reviewed study of Mindbloom’s client treatment outcomes was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2022, titled At-home, sublingual ketamine telehealth is a safe and effective treatment for moderate to severe anxiety and depression: Findings from a large, prospective, open-label effectiveness trial. The FDA has not evaluated head-to-head trials comparing the safety of ketamine to other medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric disorders. Although some clients report that they had more success with ketamine than with FDA-approved therapies, these outcomes may not be typical.

For more information about the informed consent that clients review and sign prior to treatment, please visit mindbloom.com/informed-consent.

A Promising Treatment for Mental Health

Known for its anesthetic effects and therapeutic potential, ketamine is increasingly being used as a treatment for anxiety and depression.

At lower doses, ketamine can disrupt negative feelings and preoccupations and help the brain create new, healthier patterns.

How Does it Work?

Ketamine acts on the brain to provide relief from anxiety and depression.

Fuel Neural Growth

When people suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, their neurons become stunted with fewer connections.

Ketamine helps repair this damage by stimulating neuroplasticity and fertilizing the brain, restoring and strengthening new connections between neurons.

Reduce Negative Thoughts

Ketamine can also offer relief from negative thoughts by normalizing activity in a part of the brain known as the default mode network.

By altering connectivity in this part of the brain, ketamine can help people to break out of old thought patterns that cause anxiety and depression.

A Powerful Medicine

With its ability to promote the creation of new, healthy neural connections, ketamine can be a powerful tool for managing mental health.

For many people, the effects of ketamine therapy can last for months, with intermittent "boosters" extending the effects even further.

Gentle Onset Tablets

While intravenous and intramuscular administration methods can be abrupt, Mindbloom provides tablets that are dissolved under the tongue and gently take effect over 10-15 minutes.

Intravenous
Intramuscular
Sublingual

Feelings of Relief

By temporarily silencing negative thoughts, ketamine therapy can offer much needed relief and healing.

Ketamine silenced the constant thoughts that have been torturing me for most of my life.”

Jeff, IT Business Owner

Since using Mindbloom, I’ve experienced relief from my depression and anxiety.”

Amanda, Administrative Assistant

My experience culminated in the notion that everything is going to be okay.”

Dan, IT Project Manager

Gentle Experience

While everyone’s experience is different, many clients describe their Mindbloom sessions as gentle.

The most surprising part of my Mindbloom experience was how gentle and safe it felt.”

Brenna, Writer

I expected a punch in the face, but it felt more like a tickle on the arm.”

Brittni, Project Manager

I appreciate the comfort and safety of my own living room.”

Noah, Land Use Consultant

New Perspective

Ketamine therapy facilitates new perspectives that can help us better process and move on from pain.

Mindbloom gave me a better perspective on anxiety, depression, and life itself.”

Deborah, Student

I’ve reframed my negative thoughts into positive ones.”

Sarah

Mindbloom helped build a foundation that I needed to keep me from spiraling and feeling lost.”

Andrew, Financial Advisor
Science Research

Ketamine Research

Clinical research continues to demonstrate that ketamine can be used to treat mental health conditions and their symptoms successfully.

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The Impact of Ketamine on Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction, Delirium, and Renal Dysfunction

Ketamine is a commonly used anesthetic medication which is used for induction of anesthesia as well as as an analgesic. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which may decrease post-operative complications following cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass that are thought to associated with inflammation. Some studies have shown that ketamine does decrease these complications when compared with anesthetics that are not commonly used in our cardiac anesthesiology practice. Propofol is another commonly used anesthetic medication which is used for induction of anesthesia. Ketamine has not been compared with propofol for potential to reduce post-operative complications associated with the inflammatory process. This study aims to see if ketamine will reduce the incidence of cognitive dysfunction, delirium, and renal dysfunction in comparison with propofol. In addition, the hemodynamic impact of ketamine compared propofol will be investigated.

Miscellaneous

The Effects of Sedatives on Tobacco Use Disorder

This proposal will obtain preliminary data on the effect of a single sub-anesthetic dose of a sedative on cigarette craving and smoking behavior as well as measuring tolerability and acceptability.

Substance Use Disorders

The Effect of a Single Dose of Intravenous Ketamine on Suicidal Ideation: A Systematic Review and Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

Suicide is a public health crisis with limited treatment options. The authors conducted a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis examining the effects of a single dose of ketamine on suicidal ideation and concluded that ketamine rapidly reduced suicidal thoughts, within 1 day and for up to 1 week in depressed patients with suicidal ideation.

Suicidal Ideation