While it is normal to worry and have anxiety about unpleasant events or life stressors, these feelings typically dissipate once the event is over. However, some people experience anxiety regularly regardless of what is happening around them.
If anxious thoughts are taking over your life, it can be difficult to sleep or eat. You may feel your heart racing, feel restless, or just find it difficult to make it through the day. If these symptoms persist for at least six months, generalized anxiety disorder may be diagnosed and is often linked to depression.
Generalized anxiety disorder can sometimes be difficult to treat with common therapies. Many anti-anxiety medications just mask or cover the symptoms without treating the underlying causes. Research has shown ketamine works differently. Ketamine and ketamine metabolites have unique and diverse effects, binding to multiple receptors in the central nervous system, inhibiting some and activating others. Generally, you should be able to tell if the treatments will be beneficial after the first infusion. Once established that ketamine infusions are effective, we will carefully titrate your dose for optimal results.
The most appropriate infusion option to treat anxiety, is typically a one-hour low-dose infusion. This includes 40 minutes of active infusion and a 20 minute active recovery before being released to go home. In total, patients spend about an hour and a half with us at each visit. The low-dose infusions typically start around 0.5mg/kg/hr and may be adjusted to the response of the patient.
Patients frequently describe the experience of a low-dose infusion as floating or “floaty” and may experience mild visual hallucinations and other similar mild side effects that wear off quickly after the infusion. We work hard to avoid any uncomfortable experiences. Although serious side effects are unlikely, we provide physician administration, continuous monitoring, safety equipment, and protocols consistent with best practices for the procedure and with the Alabama Medical Board Codes for office-based anesthesia.
A series of infusions followed by maintenance treatments provide greater and longer- lasting relief – with each subsequent infusion in a series building upon the last. We often start with a series of 6 infusions, administered once or twice a week, over several weeks. The initial series is followed by maintenance treatments as needed. Maintenance treatments often start about every 3 to 5 weeks. Over time we work with patients to extend the length of time between these infusions.