Your first appointment will begin with a consultation with Dr. Mahjoubi. The doctor will speak with you to further assess your mental and physical health history beyond that which was talked about during the phone consultation. He’ll spend as much time as necessary to answer any questions you may have. The initial dose will be based on many factors, and not just bodyweight. Such factors include your medication history, the symptoms you are trying to resolve with Ketamine, your age, and many other factors. Subsequent doses will be adjusted and likely increased depending on your response to the initial infusion and every infusion thereafter. The infusion will last 60 minutes for Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar depression, and other treatable mood disorders (longer for pain conditions). The experience and “Ketamine journey” will be 75 minutes as we do not disturb you at the 60 minute mark, and allow for a 15 minute “come-down” period. This is because Ketamine levels are still peaked in the bloodstream at this time, with most patients still dissociated and having a “deep therapy session” with themselves.
When you arrive for your infusion you will be escorted to a private room with a comfortable lounge chair that reclines (see google photos). Feel free to stay in your street clothes throughout the process, and be as comfortable as possible. Family members or friends are welcome to stay in the room during the infusion- however it is Dr. Mahjoubi’s recommendation that you be alone during the infusion to get the most out of the experience. At the Ketamine Healing Clinic Of Los Angeles and Orange County we provide noise canceling headphones and a blindfold to make the Ketamine journey as ideal as possible. This sensory deprivation may increase the efficacy and chance of success with the Ketamine treatments. However, you may bring your own headphones and music playlist if you wish.
To get started, the doctor or nurse will locate a vein on your arm, wrist or hand. He or she will use the smallest IV possible (24 gauge) and as painlessly as possible insert the IV. The tube is connected to a syringe with the Ketamine and any other medication Dr. Mahjoubi feels necessary, and the syringe is placed into an advanced pump system. This pump delivers micrograms of Ketamine every second so that the infusion is as precise as possible.
During the procedure we’ll monitor your vital signs with non-invasive equipment. We also periodically check up on you to make sure you are having as Ideal an experience as possible. Please note, verbally interacting with you during the infusion will disrupt the dissociation and psychologic journey one has, decreasing the efficacy of the treatment. As such, we check up on you as quietly as possible. After 90 minutes we will remove the IV after making sure you are not nauseated, and Dr. Mahjoubi will spend time with you discussing what you thought about during the infusion, and what those thoughts may mean in your day to day life. You are never given an infusion without speaking with Dr. Mahjoubi both before and after the treatment (on select days we have CRNA’s, and you will be informed of that when making your appointment).
Our treatment rooms are private and separated with walls and insulating material to reduce any ambient noise. Furthermore our noise canceling headphones make hearing any noise less likely. If you prefer to stream music you may bring a mobile device set up with your favorite playlist and headphones or earbuds. However please keep in mind that any lyrics can influence your Ketamine experience and possibly decrease the infusions efficacy- thus we recommend instrumental music only if you would like to play music.
Although rare, some patients experience nausea right after the treatment, or headache the evening of a treatment. This is rare at the Ketamine Healing Clinic, but if you do become nauseous, we control it by adding Zofran (an anti-nausea medication) to your IV both after your first treatment and prior to any subsequent treatments. The same can be done if you were to experience a headache the evening of a treatment. If you have a history of getting nauseous easily or being prone to motion sickness, please let us know in advance so we may add the anti-emetic medication before your first treatment begins.
When the infusion ends you will begin to regain your full faculties and senses within minutes. The half-life of ketamine is exceedingly short at approximately two hours. Some patients feel fatigued afterwards but others feel well enough to resume their day.
Your experience during the ketamine infusion is far less mysterious or frightening than you may have heard. We sometimes have patients who have used “street” Ketamine and have had “bad trips.” The experience during an IV infusion with Dr. Mahjoubi, who has over 15 years of experience with Ketamine, is completely different from this. Furthermore, since the therapeutic dose for mood disorders is lower than that used for general anesthesia, the infusion does not induce sleep. Indeed for many people the experience is pleasurable. For pain conditions, even though the dose is much higher, sleep is not induced because the increased dosage is spread out over a longer period of time.
The Ketamine will begin to have its effect within minutes after the infusion begins. You will not lose consciousness and will have mild euphoric hallucinations and a pleasant out of body experience. Physically you will be very relaxed but you’re mind will be fully engaged. Many describe the Ketamine experience as an extremely deep therapy session with oneself.
Some patients experience a dissociative effect, and many describe this as an out of body sensation. Most patients enjoy this experience, but some find it a bit unusual. Indeed, many patients find that some level of dissociation is associated with a subsequent better response to the Ketamine infusion.
It is possible though rare that you may have brief moments of freight during the infusion. In the right hands and in the clinic of an experienced provider such as Dr. Mahjoubi, this is rare. However if it does happen we can easily administer a minimal dose of intravenous benzodiazepine to mitigate the sensation. You will never be in any danger and our staff will always be monitoring your progress.
While there is every reason to believe that Ketamine infusion therapy will work for you, you must remain realistic. While 80 – 85% of patients with depression or other mood disorders (85 – 95% for those with PTSD) experience significant relief from symptoms, Ketamine infusions do not work for everyone. For the majority who do experience relief, the alleviation of symptoms can be profound. For some, relief of symptoms can be immediate, occurring within hours of the initial infusion. For others it may take several days or infusions, and the change in mood and outlook may be more subtle and grow over time, especially with the supplementary intranasal ketamine spray. Either way, when symptoms are relieved, patients can quickly gain new abilities including being more productive, having more energy, escaping the loop of negative thinking, feeling lighter, and learning to love life again. For most patients, Ketamine therapy becomes life-changing.
If you have any questions about Ketamine, the Ketamine experience or the Ketamine Healing Clinic of Los Angeles and Orange County, we would love to set up a complimentary consultation with you. You may contact us at the information provided below.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and we look forward to meeting you.