Can You Take Medication and Undergo Ketamine Therapy?


Combining Ketamine Therapy With Other Medication


If you’re thinking about undergoing ketamine therapy for your mental health, you may be wondering if you can combine it with antidepressants or other medications. Since ketamine is such a complex drug, it can be hard to determine whether or not you’re able to continue/start taking other medicines while participating in treatment. Below, we’ll go over which drugs are safe to mix with ketamine and which medications you should save until after treatment.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine, originally developed as an anesthetic, is a medication used for treatment-resistant depression. Depression is technically “treatment resistant” when a patient has not responded to two or more different antidepressant medications. This type of treatment can also help relieve symptoms of other mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). Ketamine infusions, which are typically administered intravenously by a medical or mental health professional, could help reduce depressive and suicidal thoughts in as little as a few hours.

The positive effects of ketamine infusions last for a couple of weeks before another session is needed. Ketamine therapy usually includes about six sessions, spaced about 14 days or so apart. Scheduling, however, will depend on the patient and their needs. Sessions usually take about 30 minutes and require 15 minutes of wait time after the injection.

Can Ketamine Mix With Other Medications?

Ketamine therapy can be combined with certain other types of medications, depending on their side effects. It is considered safe to mix ketamine with SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a class of antidepressants used to treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Some of the most commonly-used SSRIs include Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Citalopram (Celexa), and Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva).

SNRIs (Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), antidepressant drugs used to treat depression and other mental & physical health disorders, are mostly safe to mix with ketamine. However, they should be used with caution. This is because SNRIs have the potential to increase blood pressure and heart rate, which is something that ketamine therapy may do as well. Examples of common SNRIs include Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and Levomilnacipran (Fetzima).

Individuals who take medication for ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) should have a conversation with their doctor before deciding to move forward with ketamine therapy. While it is safe in some cases for patients on ADHD medication to receive ketamine, this combination has the potential to dangerously elevate blood pressure levels. Some of the most common ADHD medications include: Adderall (amphetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate), Concerta (methylphenidate), Dexedrine (amphetamine), Evekeo (amphetamine), Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate), and Quillivant XR (methylphenidate).

While antidepressants and ADHD medications can technically be combined with ketamine, the same can not be said for psychedelics. Psychedelics like ayahuasca, psilocybin, and DMT should not be mixed with any other drug, let alone one as strong as ketamine.

Ketamine treatment should NOT be mixed with benzodiazepines or medications designed to improve sleep such as Benadryl, Ambien, Ativan, Klonopin, Dilaudid, Lyrica, or Seroquel.

Ultimately, your doctor will be able to help determine if it’s safe to mix ketamine with another prescription. In most cases, you can trust your provider to know how to approach treatment when multiple medications are involved.

Safe Ketamine Therapy Practices

Throughout the process of receiving ketamine therapy, patients will usually meet with a doctor or mental health professional to monitor their progress. During these sessions, specialists will check in to learn how the patient is feeling and see if they experience any adverse side effects.

At Elium Health, we offer ketamine treatment and medication management for individuals struggling with treatment-resistant depression and other mental health conditions. To learn more about ketamine therapy or any of our other offerings, contact our team of mental health treatment representatives by giving us a call at 866-552-3758 or sending us an email at today.


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