The ketamine infusion is started and you are instructed to recline, relax, and close your eyes. The medicine is given slowly over 40 minutes (the infusion is longer for pain disorders). During that time, we will intermittently and unobtrusively monitor your vital signs. The first 15-20 minutes you may have no noticeable effects.
Halfway through the infusion most patients begin to experience feelings described as: euphoria, floating, heightened perceptions, feeling disconnected, or in a dream. You are not asleep during the infusion and have full command of your faculties. Less commonly, patients may experience some anxiety, sweating, or a headache. Medications can be administered if those symptoms persist and/or become uncomfortable.
All of these feelings tend to subside approximately 10-15 minutes after the completion of the infusion. Most patients can expect to be with us for approximately 90 minutes from the time you enter the clinic to when you leave, with minimal to no side effects at that point and none between treatments.
After the infusion it is possible to notice mood effects of the infusion as soon as 1 hour afterwards, but typically those effects are noticed 4 to 24 hours post-infusion. If effective, there should be a perceptible difference in feeling less sad, more hopeful, with decreased thoughts of suicide, increased calmness and improvement of mood. For pain infusions, relief and improvement of symptoms typically occurs within hours of the infusion.