Southern California Infusion Therapy | Ketamine Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

Below You Will Find Some Of The Most Common Questions Asked About Ketamine Treatment

Ketamine, developed in the 1960s, is a highly utilized anesthetic listed among the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines. It is approved by the FDA for anesthetic use and is known for its safety, particularly in pediatric surgeries. Additionally, it’s used in the treatment of CRPS/RSD pain and by the US military as a battlefield anesthetic.

In the realm of veterinary medicine, ketamine is also a common choice due to its efficacy and safety profile. Its versatility in various medical settings highlights its importance in healthcare.

While primarily used as an anesthetic, ketamine’s application extends into off-label uses, a common practice in the US, where nearly a quarter of all medications are prescribed off-label. In the US, ketamine is classified as a DEA Schedule III drug, indicating its recognized medical use and moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Ketamine has been shown to stimulate neuron growth in the brain in as quickly as one hour. Many scientists studying Ketamine are focusing on the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays an important role in neural activation.


Ketamine treatment at SoCal Infusions is an intravenous infusion procedure, conducted in a specialized medical setting by trained professionals. This treatment is grounded in real medical research, not just popular hype. The National Institutes of Health and other reputable institutions have been investigating the effects of ketamine, particularly on depression, for over a decade.

Significant scholarly research supports ketamine’s therapeutic use. This includes controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies conducted by leading medical institutions. Yale University initiated this research nearly two decades ago, publishing a groundbreaking study in 2000.

Since then, numerous studies on ketamine have been conducted at prestigious institutions like the NIH, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Oxford University. These studies contribute to a growing body of evidence supporting ketamine’s efficacy in various treatments, solidifying its place in modern medicine.

About 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression (including bipolar patients) experience rapid relief after a low-dose ketamine infusion. Similar success rates have been seen in returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD. These patients’ cases are the worst of the worst, lasting years or even decades, which have not responded to any other treatments. Many have hovered on the verge of suicide for years, many have actually attempted suicide, and all have endured a very poor quality of life.

Before ketamine therapy, there was virtually no way to substantially improve the condition of patients like these. The fact that ketamine works rapidly on 70% of them is astonishing, and its discovery has profoundly changed depression research, and our understanding of the very nature of depression.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the degree of relief can vary among patients. Some sufferers get only partial relief, some do not get relief until a second or third infusion, and some do not respond to ketamine at all. Some patients have additional medical conditions in addition to depression that can reduce its effectiveness.

You will be awake. The Ketamine Infusion dosage is not high enough to cause you to fall asleep, but you may feel a bit drowsy during and shortly after the treatment.


There are drugs, both legal and illicit, that will reduce the effectiveness of Ketamine. Please be sure to inform us of all drugs you take. We will work with your prescribing physician in coordinating your care.


Length of treatment is individual to each patient and can vary a great deal between patients. Most patients who respond to ketamine find that a single infusion will provide at least several days of symptomatic relief. This means relief of the physical symptoms that make depression/bipolar/PTSD so unbearable: anxiety, anhedonia, physical fatigue, dysphoria, cognitive impairment, insomnia, etc. Patients who get a series of multiple infusions over several days often get symptomatic relief that lasts weeks.

But there’s more to it than that. When the physical symptoms are relieved, that can also trigger a dramatic improvement in mood. It can help patients feel healthy, function normally, and stop feeling negatively about themselves, sometimes for the first time in decades. Even if the physical symptoms begin to return, many patients find they can withstand them with more resilience than before, instead of retreating to the fetal position each time a new stress or obstacle arises. This improvement in mood and function can last longer than the physical symptom relief.

The number of patients using ketamine long-term is still very small, and long-term treatment regimens are still being developed.

The most commonly reported side effects include mild nausea, drowsiness, and a temporary increase in blood pressure. The SoCal Infusions staff will closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate throughout the course of the infusion. During the treatment you may experience something called a dissociative effect. Most patients describe the experience with words like relaxing, floating, and pleasant. This “dream-like” state or euphoria feeling quickly subsides after the therapy is over, allowing you to leave with your driver after treatment is complete. Less common side effects include vivid dreams, mood swings, or agitation. If these types of side effects do occur, they are controlled by adjusting the dosage of ketamine.

Ketamine infusions have shown remarkable results in about 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression, including those with bipolar disorder. This rapid relief is also evident in combat veterans with PTSD. These patients typically have long-lasting conditions unresponsive to other treatments, often coupled with severe impacts on their quality of life.

The impact of ketamine therapy in these severe cases marks a significant development in the field of depression research. It has reshaped our understanding of depression, offering a new perspective on treatment approaches for conditions previously considered intractable.

While the response to ketamine therapy varies, with some patients experiencing only partial relief and others needing multiple infusions, it’s important to recognize that individual experiences differ. Factors like additional medical conditions can influence the treatment’s effectiveness, and some patients may not respond to ketamine therapy at all.

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