Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic drug (blocks sensory perception) developed in the 1960’s and used in the U.S. since the early 1970’s for human and veterinary care. It has been used safely (in much higher doses) in both humans and animals to provide anesthesia/analgesia for painful procedures.
Ketamine is a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. This drug disrupts the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) glutamate. Glutamate is involved with mood and pain recognition. Research has shown that repeated or prolonged exposure to stress (physical or emotional) damages the neuronal dendrites (the connections between brain cells). Ketamine has been shown to help repair these connections. It can exhibit sympathomimetic activity which can lead to increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic and pain medication for decades. The Ketamine Center of Greater Hartford uses low doses which are sub-anesthetic, below the level necessary to induce general anesthesia, and well within safe levels. It is an extremely safe medication in the hands of properly trained healthcare providers. Anesthesiologists are the most highly trained physicians when it comes to the safe use of ketamine.
While Ketamine has been FDA approved and used as an anesthetic for many years, ketamine infusion therapy for mood disorders and pain is considered an “off-label” use of this medication. Many medications in medicine are safely used “off-label.” Ketamine infusions have been used for many years with a strong safety record.
Uncontrolled hypertension, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism, congestive heart failure, pregnancy, and breast feeding can all defer treatment.
Ketamine Center of Greater Hartford offers free phone consultations with Dr. Rosenfeld. He will be happy to discuss the process and answer your questions about ketamine infusions specific to your circumstance. In addition to the phone consultation, we encourage discussing the possibility of ketamine infusion therapy with your psychiatrist, therapist, and/or primary care physician, before determining if it is right for you. Dr. Rosenfeld is happy to discuss ketamine infusion therapy with your providers as well.
Yes. You should continue to take all your medications, including any mood disorder medications, while receiving ketamine infusion therapy. All your medications will be reviewed prior to your infusion. Please inform the center if your medications are changed or altered by your other providers.
No. Ketamine has been used safely by anesthesiologists and others for over five decades. After all this time, there is no evidence that ketamine is addictive.
Research has shown 6 infusions given over a 2 week period provides maximum results. Patients who respond to the initial treatment will require maintenance infusions going forward. The timing of these maintenance infusions is very variable and will be determined on an individual basis. Some patients notice that the time between maintenance infusions lengthens as they continue with the therapy.
Infusions for mood disorders are 50 minutes. Patients can expect to be on the way home a little over an hour from the start of their appointment.
Infusions for chronic pain are typically 4 hours. Patients can expect a slightly longer recovery and are usually on their way home around 5 hours after the start of their appointment.
Yes. We ask that you stop eating solid food and opaque (non-see through) liquids at least 4 hours prior to your appointment time. Clear (see through) liquids can be continued up to 2 hours prior to appointment time.
You can bring everything you come in with! There are no private lockers or similar spaces to keep your belongings, everything will go into the procedure room with you. Cell phones, books, laptops, music-listening devices, and any other electronics are all allowed for you to use during the infusion process. Each procedure room is private which allows you to complete any work you need to do, listen to music quietly, and use your cell phone for games or reading.
Yes, there is free Wi-Fi available.
No, it is not. Although you may feel “back to normal” within minutes of the completion of the infusion, the medicine is still in your system making it unsafe to drive immediately after treatment. You will need a responsible driver, whether that be a family member or friend, to bring you home.
Covid-19 recommendations are rapidly changing. In accordance to Connecticut Department of Health, all patients and family members/guests will be required to wear masks in the waiting room and hallway. A patient may remove his/her mask in the infusion room if the patient has produced documentation of completed vaccination. A copy of the documentation will be placed in the patient’s medical record. The waiting area will be opened for family members/guests. Social distancing in the waiting area will be enforced.