When it comes to ketamine for depression, its ability to effectively alleviate symptoms is no secret. For several years, every ketamine study performed has shown that it a highly effective antidepressant that is effective in 70% of patients. However, when it comes to the route of ketamine administration, there has been some exploration as to the best option. And by “best” we mean the route of administration with the most symptomatic improvement, with the least amount of side effects.

IV ketamine infusions have undoubtedly emerged as the “gold standard” in ketamine administration. This is what we offer at our Houston ketamine clinic. IV infusions enable 100% of the ketamine to reach a patient’s brain, at a rate of delivery that is slow and completely controlled. Highly trained emergency room physicians administer and monitor each and every infusion using state-of-the-art equipment. Patients do not receive a take-home prescription for ketamine; all infusions are performed at our clinic.

Until a recent study shed light upon some unexpected side effects, intranasal ketamine was the second most preferred route of administration. However, PsychCentral recently reported unpredictable results depending on the amount and viscosity of each patient’s nasal mucous levels, as well as uncontrollable variables in application technique, and tolerability issues from patient to patient.

Other methods of ketamine administration include:

  • Intramuscular
  • Oral
  • Sublingual

These options have raised some concern, mainly because the rate of delivery to the brain cannot be controlled and is highly erratic. Intramuscular injections hit the bloodstream rapidly, resulting in unpleasant and intense side effects. Also, with intramuscular injections, ketamine can remain in soft tissue for hours, being absorbed by the bloodstream at an unpredictable and uncontrollable rate.

With oral and sublingual ketamine, only about 16% of the drug will make it to the brain. This means that 84% of the medication is metabolized into other chemicals, and those chemicals can “muddy” the brain’s ability to receive the drug. As you can imagine, this yields minimal benefit to the patient.

Whether you are considering receiving infusions at our Houston-area ketamine clinic, or are simply researching the treatment options available to you, IV infusions are the most recommended, safe and predictable route of administration.

Contact Ascend Ketamine

Our Houston-area ketamine clinic is happy to offer a free consultation to new patients interested in learning about the benefits of ketamine for the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other psychiatric disorders. We can help answer questions, address concerns, and determine is ketamine infusions are a viable option for you or a loved one. Complete the brief form below and a member of our clinical team will contact you to start a dialogue.