How Does Ketamine Work?
Improving brain health with ketamine treatment sessions.
Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist that interacts selectively with key brain neurotransmitters. When ketamine binds to NMDA receptors, it increases the amount of glutamate between neurons which activates connections in the AMPA receptor. When AMPA receptors are activated, and NMDA receptors are blocked, synaptogenesis occurs.
Synaptogenesis is the process of neurons communicating with each other along new pathways, which can affect mood, thought patterns, and cognition.
By increasing the levels of glutamate in the brain, ketamine can help increase neural communication to improve mood and reduce feelings of depression. Ketamine can repair damage caused by cortisol and other long-term stress hormones that affect the brain's communication system.
Ketamine Treatment by Stella
Evidence-based in-office medically guided infusions that can effectively treat mental health challenges.
Stella innovates responsibly by prioritizing safety while optimizing our clients' outcomes. While there are many versions of ketamine treatments available, the safest way to provide ketamine in a dose-controlled manner is through the use of ketamine infusions followed by integration sessions.
Stella offers in-office ketamine treatment sessions where patients are medically monitored during their infusions. Medical personnel are always available to ensure individuals are comfortable and safe.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) Protocol
Stella's Ketamine Treatment protocol includes medically guided infusions over two weeks with care support over 3 months including:
- 6 Ketamine Treatment Sessions
- 6 Stella Integration Sessions
- 1 Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Follow Up
Advanced Ketamine Blend
Stella's advanced ketamine blend, which includes B-complex blend, Mineral and Amino Blend, Magnesium, Oxytocin, NAC and Vitamin C, is administered intravenously very slowly over 45 minutes by a licensed and board certified provider.
Patient Care Coordination
Stella's trauma-informed patient care coordination team will be answering your questions and helping you along your healing journey from scheduling treatments, prepping for the treatments to post-treatment care
Frequently Asked Questions about Ketamine Treatment
Is ketamine therapy safe?
Yes. Ketamine has been used in medical settings around the world for more than 50 years. Stella follows strict protocols overseen by clinical experts. Our 45-minute in office infusion is medically guided, controlled and monitored.
Why choose ketamine infusion over other forms of ketamine treatments?
While there are many versions of ketamine treatments available, the safest way to provide ketamine in a dose-controlled manner is through the use of infusions. In the field of care, we say that delivering ketamine through infusions makes it "100% bioavailable." The medication can be dosed in a precise manner with infusions, and it takes effect at a predictable time.
Another major advantage to using an infusion is that if a patient has a negative response, the medication can be stopped without delay. When Ketamine is administered through other means, such as through injections or lozenges, there is no way to "exit" the treatment session in the case of a negative response. Stella has established a reputation for "responsible innovation." In this context, "responsible innovation" means that we prioritize safety while optimizing our clients' outcomes.
This is why we offer in-office ketamine infusions where patients are directly medically monitored throughout their treatments.
What are ketamine infusion sessions like?
During the in-office ketamine treatment sessions, our medical personnel are always available to ensure individuals are comfortable and safe.
Entering the treatment, you'll sit down with your provider to go over any questions and discuss what the process will be. During this time, you will be invited to share the intentions you set for yourself if you would like.
As the treatment begins, you will be taking guidance from trained personnel on site and spend the next 45 minutes to receive the dose-controlled IV infusion. Remember, you are in control of your experience, so you can make requests like asking for an extra blanket, or adjust the volume of the music, etc.
At the start of the infusion, you may not have any noticeable effects, but as the infusion progresses, you may encounter a feeling of "lightness" or "floating," which for some describe as"weight being lifted off their shoulders", or a "dream-like state" with a calm sensation. Some patients report visions of colors, shapes, and images. Each person's experience can be different, and it can also vary from infusion to infusion. You will be monitored throughout the infusion, and we are prepared to treat any unpleasant side effects during the procedure.
Once the treatment nears the end, you'll regain awareness of the surrounding space. You'll then spend some time acclimating yourself with help from the clinical team on site. Generally, within 15 minutes of completing the infusion, you will feel fully grounded again, and you will have a sense of clarity and being fully immersed in the present moment. In most cases, your awareness and thinking will be clear within minutes after the session, but as a standard precaution, we require all patients to avoid driving home after their Ketamine treatment session.
Three common effects just after a ketamine infusion are temporary dizziness, disorientation, and fatigue. Feeling lightheaded or disoriented after the treatment is normal, and this typically goes away quickly. You may feel tired or fatigued after the treatment, which can be easily resolved with a nap. We recommend that you build in time to rest after each session if you should feel tired after one of your sessions. Remember that your experience can vary from session to session, so you may feel tired after some, but not all.
How long do the positive dffects of ketamine infusion therapy last?
For patients who go through our care plan that consists of 6 ketamine infusions, the positive effect can last for months. Some patients may come back for 1 or 2 maintenance dosing based on their personal preference, severity of symptoms and logistics.
What are integration sessions?
To maximize the therapeutic value of our ketamine treatment, Stella pairs each ketamine infusion session with a Stella Integration Session as part of our advanced ketamine treatment protocol.
Patients are scheduled to meet with a Stella provider on the day following their ketamine medicine session for a 45 minutes session.The purpose is to give our patients the best opportunity to turn key insights from their ketamine therapy into long-lasting healing and growth.
Integration sessions can add value to those who choose to pursue long-term therapy outside of Stella, whether through a Stella therapy provider like APN or with a trusted therapist they have been seeing prior to entering Stella care. We respect these therapeutic relationships and encourage patients to pursue longer-term therapeutic interventions if individuals find these helpful for maintaining the gains from treatment plans.
Our integration sessions can facilitate the best outcomes of the treatment through three primary strategies:
- Capturing the content of ketamine treatment sessions
- Making meaning of the content that is revealed during these sessions
- Developing a specific plan of action to put insights into action
What are the side effects of ketamine infusion therapy?
The side effects directly after a ketamine session are minimal and usually only last an hour or two. Side effects may include mild drowsiness, nausea, and increased blood pressure.
We monitor your vital signs throughout the infusion session and will routinely administer medication to prevent nausea. Less common side effects include vivid dreams or agitation, which can be controlled by adjusting the dosage.
Many patients do not mind the relaxed and free feeling they experience during the infusion, and this feeling has been postulated to be beneficial.
are there any risks of addiction with ketamine infusions?
No, there is no evidence that ketamine infusions at low doses and frequencies used to treat mood disorders lead to dependence or addiction. (In fact, research suggests that ketamine can be an effective treatment for overcoming addiction. If you have a history of substance abuse, it does not exclude you from receiving ketamine infusions but it is important to disclose this information during your assessment
How much does ketamine infusion therapy cost?
The cost of our ketamine treatment may vary based on the custom care plan our Advanced Practice Providers recommend. Please refer to our "care approach" page for detailed information on pricing.
Is Stella's ketamine treatment covered by insurance?
Ketamine treatment by Stella is not covered by insurance at this time. However, to help make treatment affordable, Stella accepts Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) as payment options. We also provide interest-free financing plans through Rectangle Health.
Where can I watch patient testimonials?
Yes. Stella works directly with patients before, during and after treatment. Many patients want to tell their story through testimonials and many leave reviews. You can explore our reviews here: https://stellacenter.com/treatments/reviews
Many video testimonials can be found on our YouTube page, including William and Dans, below.
How do I determine if Ketamine therapy by Stella is right for me?
Call 908-293-7559 to schedule an intake assessment with our Advanced Practice Provider. Our trauma informed team will create a curated care plan based on your symptoms, health history and experience.
Explore Stella's Ketamine Treatment Locations
Common Questions Answered by Dr. Chris Romig
Stella's Director of Innovation sat down with Portland Psychedelic Society to discuss Ketamine Therapy.
The Importance of Intention Setting
Different Types of Ketamine Treatment and Why Stella Offers In-Office Infusions
Why a 6 Session Protocol is Recommended
Ongoing Care and Treatment Following Reoccurring Traumas
Experience life-changing results through ketamine treatment for depression, anxiety & PTSD
Stella's innovative treatments can empower individuals to take control of their lives by helping relieve symptoms of emotional trauma and mental health challenges. Call Stella today to explore IV ketamine infusion options near you.
William's Story: The Impact of SGB and Ketamine for PTSD/PSTI
After two decades in the military, Will Marshall returned home to experience symptoms of PTSD, TBIs, and anxiety. After doing research on ketamine, the Dual Sympathetic Reset, and its effects, Will was in. Listen to his Treatment by Stella story to here how it went.
Mandal S, Sinha VK, Goyal N. Efficacy of ketamine therapy in the treatment of depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2019 Sep-Oct;61(5):480-485. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_484_18. PMID: 31579184; PMCID: PMC6767816.