Ketamine: Science-Backed, Safe, and Effective
Ketamine is a prescription medication that doctors can prescribe off-label to treat depression, anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, OCD, and other mental health-related conditions. It has safely been used as an FDA-approved anesthetic since 1970.
At lower doses, ketamine can move you beyond the superficial layers of your day-to-day mind, heal unhealthy neural pathways, and help you achieve the clarity you need to live the life you deserve.
Important FDA Safety Information
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
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 reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational 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 MindBloom 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
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- 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 monitor present to ensure your safety
What does it feel like?
Ketamine produces a sense of disconnection from one’s ordinary reality and usual self that may induce or enhance feelings of creativity, purpose, perspective, serenity, insight, inspiration, gratitude, empathy, connection with others and the world, openness to new ideas, psychological rebirth, and traveling outside of one’s self, among others. You may also experience visual, auditory, and other sensory effects.
Your brain on ketamine
Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and interacts with the most abundant neurotransmitter system in your brain: glutamate. Research shows it increases expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This results in enhanced neuroplasticity, or the ability of brain cells to form new connections with one another.
Besides being the only legally prescribable psychedelic medicine, ketamine is increasingly prescribed because it has a short duration of 45-90 minutes, most often provides a pleasant experience with little to no negative after effects, and is backed by substantial clinical research demonstrating its safety and efficacy for treating depression and anxiety.
How is it taken?
If your clinician determines that you're a good fit for ketamine therapy, you’ll be prescribed sublingual ketamine tablets, which are placed under your tongue or between your cheek and gums. Your program includes psychedelic therapy education and content delivered through Mindbloom's client portal and the option to work with a Mindbloom Guide to help optimize your experience and achieve lasting change.
Safety is our priority
Ketamine has an extensive safety record, but as with any medication, it is not without risks. Consult your clinician about the risks and any potential complications that may exclude you as a candidate before determining if it’s the right fit for you. Additionally, make sure to follow your medical team’s treatment plan and use our platform to let them know immediately if you experience any adverse reactions.
Please review the important safety information on our website for more information about the potential risks and side effects of ketamine.