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General FAQs
  • What is ketamine?
    Ketamine is an anaesthetic medication, which has been approved for use by Health Canada and the FDA since the 1970s. Since then, It has been widely used in high dosages in the emergency and operating rooms. Over the past 20 years, low-dose intravenous (IV) Ketamine infusions have been recognized for their remarkable ability to transform the brain. Ketamine has been found to be a fast-acting and highly effective treatment for people who suffer from various mental health conditions, such as treatment-resistant depression, suicidal thinking, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
  • What effect does ketamine have on the brain?
    People with long-term mental health conditions often get rapid results from Ketamine Infusions. Stress, depression and anxiety all cause the loss of brain connections, which, over time, leads to shrinking in parts of the brain, such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. These are the areas of the brain that regulate emotion, attention and memory. ​ Ketamine can reverse this process. Research shows that within 24 hours of the first dose of medically supervised ketamine, the lost brain connections start to regrow. Ketamine's ability to increase the synaptic connections in the brain effectively leads to the rewiring of the brain. This results in improved mood regulation and better brain health. ​ Ketamine works differently than typical antidepressants, which increase serotonin levels in the brain. At low doses, Ketamine boosts the production of glutamate, the most common chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, in the brain. Glutamate is critical for learning, memory and mood regulation. ​ The multi-layered effect of ketamine creates ideal conditions for the brain to "reboot", thereby increasing the ability of the brain to heal itself. ​ The potential of ketamine is optimized when it is used as a tool along with a holistic and ongoing wellness plan. Our process at Ketamine Health provides all the keys to success and ensures your safety. Your preparation, open mindset, and post-therapy integration will help you achieve the greatest benefits ketamine offers. ​
  • What is ketamine assisted therapy?
    While ketamine can help you heal, its effects are far more powerful when it's used as a treatment tool as part of a comprehensive, transformational program. Ketamine resets the brain. It promotes brain plasticity, which means that it increases the ability of the brain to grow new connections and be flexible. While your brain is more open to change, therapy is key to addressing and overcoming the underlying mental or emotional blocks you are experiencing. When you combine therapy with ketamine, you’re much more likely to experience a sustainable, long-term transformation than when either of these is provided on their own
  • How do you know if ketamine therapy is for you?
    We understand how debilitating it can be to deal with mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or PTSD. If you struggle with mental health issues, Ketamine may be an option for you. Specifically, if you've tried at least two treatments that haven't given you the results you're looking for, Ketamine may help when other treatments have failed. Some people can't be treated with Ketamine due to certain medical conditions. At Ketamine Health, you will undergo a comprehensive screening process to ensure that you are a proper fit for treatment. Please contact us at (416) 444-5466 to find out more.
  • Is ketamine infusion therapy approved by Health Canada?
    Ketamine is a Health Canada-approved medication. Health Canada approved ketamine in the 1970s as an anaesthetic for diagnostic and surgical procedures. However, it's currently not approved for other indications, like mood conditions. Doctors can, nevertheless, prescribe ketamine "off-label" for other medical conditions. This means that a doctor can legally prescribe ketamine infusion therapy, even if it's not specifically approved by Health Canada. Off-label use of medications is actually quite common in medicine, with almost one-quarter of medications being prescribed off-label worldwide. Since Ketamine is a generic drug, it's unlikely to ever be approved by Health Canada for conditions such as depression. The cost of going through the approval process could be millions of dollars, and since it's already widely used and approved as an anaesthetic, it's doubtful that any company would be willing to pay that. Ketamine therapy is approved by Health Canada in the form of an intranasal spray. This is specifically for treating major depressive disorder in patients who have previously not responded to two or more antidepressants.
  • How quickly does Ketamine work?
    For some patients, ketamine can begin to work within a few hours to days after the first treatment. For others, it may take a full course of treatment, which is 6 infusions, for mood to improve. In general, most patients will notice a lighter mood by the third or fourth treatment. It's important to realize that even though some people experience an immediate and profound boost in mood after the first treatment, this does not happen to everyone. It is actually more common to see slow and steady improvement over time.
  • How effective is Ketamine for depression?
    Ketamine infusions are safe and effective. They are arguably the fastest-acting and most-effective medicine available for treatment-resistant mental health conditions. According to studies and our clinical experience, ketamine therapy has a success rate of up to 80%. While ketamine can help improve the symptoms of depression in most people, 20% to 30% of people won't respond to it. The exact percentage of those who don't benefit from ketamine infusions can vary depending on factors such as the severity of the depression, the individual response to the treatment, and other medical and lifestyle factors. It's important to understand that your attitude can play an important role in the outcome of your ketamine treatments. Ketamine infusions are only one part of the healing process, therefore the mindset that you take into each infusion session can influence the overall results that you achieve.
  • What mood conditions can you treat with ketamine?
    There is a large amount of research data and clinical evidence showing that ketamine is highly effective for severe depression, suicidal ideation and post traumatic stress disorder. There are also many studies showing that ketamine is very effective for severe anxiety and bipolar disorder, as well as substance abuse. Finally, there is emerging evidence that ketamine can successfully treat obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • How many infusions will I need?
    A total of 6 ketamine infusions are recommended to achieve the maximum effect. Ketamine is not a one-time treatment or cure. Research studies have shown that while it is possible to experience a positive boost in mood after one infusion, 6 infusions are optimal to achieve the optimal and most sustainable outcome.
  • How long will the effects last?
    The initial series of infusions typically helps to achieve a healthy brain state for patients who have been suffering from a mood condition for a long time. While the effects from a single infusion can last for weeks, many patients remain depression-free for several months after the full course of treatment. Some patients are able to manage their symptoms long-term through positive lifestyle changes, continued therapy and/or medication. Other patients need maintenance or booster infusions. These are provided on as-needed basis.
  • Is ketamine therapy safe?
    When Ketamine is provided in a controlled environment under the supervision of an anesthesiologist, it is very safe. Since the medication has been extensively used for half a century, there's a lot of data supporting its safety. At Ketamine Health, each patient is monitored throughout the entire procedure and the infusion can be adjusted at any point in time. If needed, the infusion can even be easily stopped, at which point the effects will quickly subside.
  • Will I need ketamine for the rest of my life?
    Not necessarily, some patients get relief for their whole life just after the initial infusions. In some cases, it also enhances the effects of antidepressants, and once the severe symptoms are relieved by the Ketamine infusion, medical therapy can be continued. However, others may require periodic maintenance infusions every few months.
  • Do I need a referral from a psychiatrist or GP to come for treatment?
    No, you don’t need a referral from to have treatment at Ketamine Health. We have in-house psychiatrists and physicians that can assess your needs and determine if the treatment is right for you.
  • What will happen during the infusion?
    You will likely experience a pleasurable sensation during the infusion. You'll be awake during the infusion so you can talk to those around you and listen to music. You'll sit in a comfortable chair and feel a sense of comfort and warmth. You will not lose consciousness. Instead, you may feel a euphoric sensation. Some people experience dizziness, fuzzy vision or a sense of floating, but these symptoms clear up quickly after the infusion stops.
  • Is the treatment painful?
    No, the treatment is not painful. We start with administering a tiny intravenous needle in the hand, which may cause some discomfort. Most patients, nevertheless, are surprised by how painless this process is - even those who are afraid of needles.
  • How will I feel after the treatment?
    Some patients feel better within hours after the infusion. If you’re having suicidal ideations, you may notice that these thoughts will lessen in intensity. For other patients, it may take more time to feel the effects of the ketamine. Some people report fatigue or grogginess after infusion, so you need to be accompanied by someone who can drive you home. Do not operate heavy equipment for at least 12 hours after the infusion.
  • Will I have to stop taking my other antidepressant medication?
    Some medicines may decrease the effectiveness of ketamine and others could interact with the ketamine. Most people taking antidepressants are safe to continue with them during the infusion process. However, we will review your medications and let you know if any changes need to be made.
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