Frequently asked questions.
It’s real. Ketamine treatment is an intravenous infusion procedure performed in a specially-equipped medical office by a member of the Luminous team.
It’s not hype. The National Institutes of Health has been studying ketamine’s effect on depression for more than ten years. There is serious scholarly research behind this treatment, which means controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed studies at major institutions.
Researchers at Yale pioneered this research nearly 20 years ago and published the first major study in 2000. Since then, dozens more ketamine studies have been conducted at Yale and other major institutions including NIH, The VA, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mt. Sinai Medical School, Oxford University, and many more around the world.
Length of treatment is individual to each patient and can vary a great deal. Most patients respond to ketamine within their initiation series. This means relief of the physical symptoms that make depression/anxiety/PTSD/pain so unbearable: anhedonia, physical fatigue, dysphoria, cognitive impairment, insomnia, etc.
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 negative 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.
Ketamine is typically well-tolerated and we are not aware of any significant adverse reactions at the low-dose used for this treatment. At the higher doses used in operating rooms, ketamine has been known to cause hallucinations, as well as other cognitive distortions. Use of ketamine by people with conditions such as unstable heart disease risk aggravating these conditions. It is of utmost importance that you fill out the medical questionnaire fully and truthfully, so we can properly evaluate whether you are medically appropriate for the treatment.
When ketamine is administered in a controlled medical setting by a properly trained provider using established methods, it is very safe. Ketamine is the only anesthetic that does not suppress the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It does have the potential to elevate heart rate and blood pressure, so the patient’s vitals must be monitored during treatment.
Using illegally-obtained ketamine on your own, without a doctor’s supervision, is a different matter. There’s no assurance the substance you’re taking is actually ketamine at all, or that it hasn’t been mixed with other substances. And since ketamine is an anesthetic capable of sedating patients during major surgery, you can seriously injure yourself while under its influence if you are not in a controlled medical setting. If you are contemplating taking “street” ketamine in hopes of relieving your depression, keep in mind that the antidepressant effect depends on it being administered in a very precise, controlled way that you cannot achieve in a recreational setting.
Although ketamine itself is not typically covered by insurance, other services during your visit may still be billable and help reduce cost.