How Do You Know If Ketamine Therapy Is Working?


Determining Whether Or Not Your Ketamine Treatment Is Successful

Ketamine therapy can be very beneficial for certain individuals with severe depression, but it isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone who struggles with this mental health disorder.

And since it isn’t a daily medication, it may be hard for people who use ketamine to know when it’s starting to kick in. If you or a loved one have recently begun ketamine therapy, there are some signs to look out for that can help you determine whether or not it’s working for you.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

After ketamine was originally created to be an anesthesia, medical professionals discovered that this treatment works similarly to antidepressants. And in 2019, Spravato (a type of ketamine therapy) was approved by the FDA to serve as a solution for treatment-resistant depression. When someone has treatment-resistant depression, it means that their mental health condition has not responded to two or more antidepressant medications. This problem is actually relatively common; according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, about 50% of people with depression don’t respond to the first antidepressant medicine they take.

In addition to the symptoms of depression, ketamine therapy can also help with:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety disorders (Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder)
  • PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
  • Bipolar Disorder

While ketamine therapy is most commonly administered via an injectable infusion, this medication also comes in the form of a nasal spray and a lozenge. Most ketamine therapy sessions take about 40 minutes and require 20-30 minutes of monitoring directly afterward.

Side Effects of Ketamine Treatment

It is natural for ketamine therapy to cause some mild side effects. These symptoms should go away a few hours after treatment and usually do not require medical attention:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dream-like state
  • Muscle spasms or stiffness

The most common mild side effect of ketamine is feeling a strange, loopy sensation when the session ends. This is why it is necessary for patients to be briefly monitored after treatment. These symptoms may not always be pleasant, but they usually aren’t dangerous and can serve as a sign that the ketamine treatment is beginning to work. To minimize these side effects, patients can try meditating or creating a peaceful playlist to listen to before the session begins.


How To Know If Ketamine Therapy Is Working

It can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks after the initial injection for a person to feel the complete effects of ketamine treatment. But in some cases, patients may find instantaneous relief. Ketamine therapy is most likely working when suicidal ideations subside, depressed moods are lifted, and the individual no longer has feelings of helplessness and worthlessness.

Ketamine therapy has a relatively high success rate. While it may not completely eliminate depression for certain individuals, it usually is able to at least alleviate symptoms to some extent. If you notice that you feel more fulfilled and motivated after undergoing ketamine therapy, it’s likely that it is working for you.

Ketamine Therapy for Depression Near You

When it comes to ketamine therapy, it’s important to find a provider that you trust. At Elium Health, we administer ketamine and Spravato treatment in a safe and comfortable environment. Ketamine therapy may be used in combination with another form of mental health treatment as well, like one-on-one talk therapy. Throughout treatment, our medical specialists check-in with patients to ensure that they are having a positive and beneficial experience with ketamine.

If you’d like to learn more about our ketamine therapy services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of mental health treatment representatives for additional information. Give us a call at 866-552-3758 or send us an email at to chat with one of our specialists today.


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