300 Office Park Dr Suite 105

Mountain Brook, AL 35223

205-848-2768

8 am-4 pm, Monday-Friday

Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme shifts in a person’s mood and energy level. While everyone experiences mood swings, those with bipolar disorder exhibit extreme changes in mood. A person with bipolar disorder has alternating periods of mania and depression. During manic episodes there may be periods of extremely elevated or irritable mood and heightened energy levels. During the depressive episodes there is intense sadness, hopelessness and lack of energy.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four major categories of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I with longer manic phases that last at least one week, Bipolar II with hypomanic swings that typically last less than a week, Cyclothymic Disorder with numerous periods of hypomania and depression that last for 2 years and Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder. All categories can be treated with low-dose ketamine infusion treatments to stabilize mood and break the cycle of mania and depression.

Antidepressants and other medications commonly prescribed for bipolar patients can have unpleasant side effects and take weeks to be effective. Low-dose ketamine infusions can provide a safe, low risk option with significant relief in a matter of hours. Ketamine infusions can significantly improve bipolar symptoms by stimulating healthy brain function.

The most appropriate infusion option to treat bipolar disorder is typically a one-hour low-dose infusion. This includes 40 minutes of active infusion and a 20minute 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 an increased sensitivity to light and sound. The vast majority of patients tolerate these side effects without discomfort and many report them as pleasant. 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 two to three times a weekover several weeks for maximum effectiveness. 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.
Ultimately, the number and frequency of treatments is variable from patient to patient depending on such factors as the severity of the symptoms, the other medications a patient may be on, and the patient’s response to the treatments.
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