What is Ketamine?


Ketamine is an anesthesia medication that has been used safely in the operating room for over 50 years. About 5-10 years ago, doctors discovered that it’s effective at relieving symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD. It rapidly reduces suicidal thoughts.

How long has ketamine been around for?

Ketamine has been around since it was first discovered in 1962 and was approved for use in the United States since 1970. We have known the benefits of Ketamine for a long time.

There is a wide base of research and statistics to support the use of Ketamine as an effective therapy. However, Ketamine Therapy is not widely advertised or promoted to the public by medical professionals despite its continued use and positive effects. You may have many questions about what it is and how effective it is. We are here to answer all of your questions and provide a facility dedicated to improving your mental and physical well-being.

Who can benefit from ketamine?

Patients with depression (especially with suicidal features) and trauma disorders benefit the most. Additionally, patients with existential or end-of-life anxiety do particularly well.

Is ketamine safe?

In a word, yes, ketamine is safe. When given in a supervised setting by a doctor, research has proven it can be safely administered for long-term use. Unlike other medications, Ketamine does not have to be discontinued in use after a certain period of time. Studies have continued to show its effectiveness as an acute treatment method. Ketamine has gained special notoriety in its ability to subside suicidal thoughts in patients after just one treatment session.

What benefits are seen with ketamine treatment?

There are a number of proven benefits of Ketamine when compared to other types of medications.

One of the most beneficial is its rapid onset. You can expect to feel the positive effects of Ketamine within 24 hours after receiving a treatment. Some patients even experience its effects in as little as two hours. Other medications can take up to six weeks or longer before any noticeable changes occur, and even then, you may experience side effects or have to switch to another medication.

Studies have also shown that Ketamine has anti-inflammatory effects at critical areas of the body.

There is a large body of research that shows the benefit of ketamine for pain as well.

What can I really expect from my ketamine treatments?

Ketamine therapy works for the majority of patients.

However, patients do not do well if they are unprepared for the process. It is not a magic bullet and much introspection is required for lasting results.

The most successful patients are referred by psychotherapists who can assist in the sometimes-turbulent process of integration after ketamine therapy. That said, If you have suffered from poorly-treated trauma, depression, or certain pain conditions, and have tried medications with little to no success, we highly recommend this therapy.

Your mental and physical well-being is our main concern. We want to give you a real alternative to relieving you of what holds you back from enjoying everyday life. Creating lasting relationships with our patients is as important to us as any treatment we administer.

What are contraindications to ketamine?

Ketamine is well-tolerated by most patients. We do not recommend ketamine for patients with schizophrenia or severe bipolar.

We do not recommend ketamine for patients who are in an active addiction. Ketamine may be an effective adjunct to addiction therapy, but patients must be a part of a structured addiction program.

Ketamine is contraindicated in patients with heart failure or recent coronary re-vascularization (ex heart stents).

How does ketamine work?

Ketamine works on the NMDA receptors of the brain. It induces anti-depressive hormones and chemicals in the brain.

At Satori, our philosophy is that the transcendent experience of ketamine can be extraordinarily therapeutic. Patients often have a sensation of unity with the universe. The sense of hope for a better future is profound. Patients often rank it as one of the top 5 most meaningful, spiritual experiences of their lives.

What can I expect the day of treatment?

When you come into our clinic for a Ketamine Infusion, you will be seated in a reclining chair. We suggest wearing comfortable clothing you would normally wear to lounge in at home.

A typical treatment will last between 40 and 50 minutes. Once the treatment is complete, most patients are able to leave within a half hour of a completed session. Again, this depends on each individual and the severity of their illness. Your doctor will decide when it is safe for you to leave.

We do require someone to drive you home after the treatment, as you will be unsafe to drive on your own.

Key to the success of ketamine therapy is the dissociative, mystical or even spiritual state that is induced. For many people it is the first time that they are separated from the intrusive, ruminative thoughts that push them into therapy in the first place. Because the ketamine state is often vulnerable and disorienting, a skilled provider must be present at all times to hold space for patients in need. Our philosophy is not to leave you alone in a room. We want to connect with you and guide you through your healing journey.

How long does a treatment last?

A typical ketamine session lasts 90 minutes. You will need a chaperone or driver to drive you home after your session and stay with you for about an hour.

How do you deliver or give the ketamine?

Most treatments are delivered intravenously in our clinic with a skilled medical provider at your side the entire time. We also offer intramuscular injections and home ketamine therapy with a registered nurse for those who have done well with previous injections and their dose is known. We offer ketamine assisted psychotherapy using lozenges, where patients can take an oral dose in a therapist’s office once they have an established dose and treatment course.

How long do the effects of ketamine last?

The amount of time Ketamine lasts after a session is unique to each individual and depends on your physical characteristics. Its effects also depend on what symptom or disorder you are trying to dissipate. We discuss this in great detail during your consultation.

Most patients report relief lasting several days, and an improvement in mood that can last years afterward.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of infusions you need will be determined during your consultation and adjusted when monitoring your results. The biggest factors in determining the amount of treatments you will need are the severity of your symptoms, disorders and medical history. Most infusions are administered three to four day apart. Afterward, we determine if subsequent infusions are still necessary.

Most patients receive 6 treatments spread out over 6 months.

Can I take other medications while receiving ketamine infusions?

A current history of the medications you are taking must be discussed during your consultation. Although the majority of medications are safe to continue without interfering with treatment, there are some you cannot take prior to or following a session.

Medications you cannot take are called benzodiazepines and are most commonly used in treating depression.

Conventional SSRIs are safe to continue.

Will I be alone during my ketamine treatment?

Another core tenet of the Satori philosophy is that you will never be alone through your treatments. Because of the vulnerable nature of engaging with the deepest parts of your psyche, we staff our clinic with professionally trained and licensed clinicians.

What is the role of psychotherapy in ketamine treatment?

The benefits of ketamine are sustained when patients develop a long-term relationship with a therapist. We encourage everyone to see a therapist regularly throughout the duration of ketamine therapy.

Ketamine relaxes ego defenses and is a catalyst for psychotherapy.

The majority of patients describe the experience to be beautiful, but difficult emotions are often encountered during the ketamine treatment. Through a process of integration clinicians, therapists, and patients can make sense of the experience together.

Because the ketamine experience is unlike anything you have ever been through, we also offer group integration sessions for patients to develop camaraderie and support.

Does insurance cover ketamine treatments?

Insurance companies do not yet pay for the cost of ketamine therapy.

What is the cost?

Cost of treatment is $450 for the first infusion and $375 for subsequent treatments.

Most patients receive 6 treatments.

Payment plans are available, where you can spread the cost of treatment over the course of a year without interest. We truly want to offer this service for those who need it. If you are in need of assistance. Please inquire more in person at (435) 669-4403.