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Why You Should Disclose Your Full Medical History Before Ketamine Infusion
Ketamine infusion is a treatment for patients with severe depression and other forms of mental health conditions that have not responded to other treatments. Although there are many benefits to the treatment, ketamine infusion is not for everyone. It is important to disclose medical history during the initial consultation to ensure the treatment will be suitable for you.
An overview of recommendations for ketamine infusion
The following is an overview of ketamine infusion treatment, including what it is and how the initial consultation appointment works.
What is a ketamine infusion?
Ketamine infusion is a form of mental health treatment in which ketamine is administered intravenously. Ketamine for the treatment of depression is relatively new. However, the medication has been used for several decades for anesthetic and pain relief purposes.
Ketamine infusion can treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, suicidal thoughts, and mood disorders. In certain instances, mental health professionals might recommend ketamine infusion to patients with depression who have not seen positive results from other forms of treatment.
How the diagnosis process works
Before ketamine infusion is recommended, the patient is most often required to be diagnosed by a mental health professional. Although every clinician has their own method in doing so and every patient is unique, the diagnosis process typically involves the documentation of the patient’s symptoms, asking the patient questions about their medical history, and discussing the goals for treatment. Additional tests may also be ordered to assist in an accurate diagnosis.
Many mental health professionals may recommend other forms of treatment, such as antidepressant medication, before ketamine infusion.
The importance of disclosing your medical history
Ketamine infusion is generally a safe and painless procedure, but it is not ideal for everyone. Individuals who fall under the following criteria may not make a good candidate for a ketamine infusion:
- Addicted to alcohol or drugs
- Diagnosed with schizophrenia
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- At-risk for heart failure
Subsequently, it is essential to be completely open and honest during the initial consultation by disclosing all medical history.
When is ketamine infusion recommended?
Ketamine infusion is typically recommended to patients who are not addicted to drugs or alcohol, are not pregnant, and are in good general health overall. The treatment is often effective for patients who experience the following conditions:
- Severe depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Nerve-related pain
- Severe anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress
The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for ketamine infusion is to schedule a visit with a mental health professional. They can conduct a complete evaluation and go over the treatment options available, which may include ketamine infusion.
Ketamine infusion FAQs
Mental health professionals are often asked about how ketamine infusions relate to alternative depression treatments and what the risks of ketamine infusions are. The following are answers to these two common questions.
How does ketamine infusion compare with alternative depression treatments?
Many patients report relief from depression symptoms from ketamine that they did not receive from alternative treatment options, particularly antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, ketamine infusions are often provided along with alternative forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy (which is also referred to as talk therapy).
As discussed below, there are unique risks associated with ketamine infusion, and it is not right for everyone, especially those who are dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction, are pregnant, diagnosed with schizophrenia, or are at a higher risk of heart failure.
What are the risks of ketamine infusion?
As is the case with every medication, there are potential side effects. The risk of side effects is greater among individuals who are currently addicted to alcohol or drugs, pregnant, or at risk of heart failure; this is why disclosing your full medical history before ketamine infusion is important. The most notable potential side effects of ketamine infusion include:
- Distorted perception of sight and sound (temporary)
- Feelings of detachment
- Increased risk of drug addiction (particularly among patients who are already addicted)
It is important to discuss the specific risks with your mental health professional and ketamine treatment provider before starting treatment. As mentioned, ketamine infusions are most commonly recommended among individuals who have not seen relief of depression symptoms from antidepressants, psychotherapy, and other common treatment methods.
Talk to a mental health professional about treatment
If you are interested in learning more about how ketamine infusion might be able to help you, then reach out to us today and schedule a time to visit with us.
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