IV ketamine infusions have emerged as the standard among Ketamine providers, even with the introduction of the nasal spray Spravato. Patients seeking treatment for mood disorders typically receive a series of 6 infusions, known as the loading phase, completed over a 2 week period. Each infusion lasts about one hour. There are no known long-term side effects, and the short-term side effects are usually mild and do not last more than a day. Clinical studies have consistently shown a 70% success rate with this approach.
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With all chronic illness, maintenance therapy is required to sustain the effect and keep symptoms managed. Booster infusions, which are the same duration as the loading phase infusions, are single infusions on an as-needed basis in this maintenance phase. For pain syndromes, patients typically receive anywhere from 3-7 infusions lasting 4 hours over the course of a few weeks. Again, these treatments require boosters as time goes on.
The time between boosters varies for each patient and is determined by the number of initial infusions during the loading phase and the percentage of pain that returns over time in each patient. We have been utilizing this treatment protocol since we opened Midwest Ketamine Center in 2016 and our protocol has a success rate that is consistent with clinical studies. It is superior to both intramuscular shots as well as intranasal sprays.