soldier talking in support group about his PTSD

How is Ketamine Used for PTSD Treatment?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition caused by exposure to a traumatic event. Characterized by intense anxiety, fear, and depression, PTSD symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. Recently, Ketamine has emerged as a promising treatment option for those struggling with PTSD.

This guide aims to discuss how Ketamine is used to treat PTSD and explore its potential benefits and side effects.

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What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative medication that helps provide pain relief by blocking receptors in the brain that produce anxiety and depression.1 Ketamine also increases the release of two neurotransmitters, glutamate and GABA, which have calming and antidepressant effects.

Ketamine is available as a liquid injection, in pill or lozenge form, a nasal spray, or as an IV infusion for faster absorption into the bloodstream. Low doses of Ketamine are available in an outpatient setting, with higher doses requiring hospitalization or an overnight stay at a clinic.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that occurs after someone experiences a traumatic event such as war, natural disasters, physical or sexual abuse, or a life-threatening event. The symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, intense fear and distress, avoidance of people and places associated with the trauma, and difficulty concentrating.

soldier holding his head like he is depressed

People with PTSD may also feel lonely and detached from their emotions, often experiencing depression, anger, and other negative emotions.

PTSD is more likely to develop in people who have experienced multiple traumas, lack social support, or have a family history of mental illness. It is also more common among specific populations, such as combat veterans, children who have experienced abuse or neglect, and survivors of disasters.

The most common conventional treatments for PTSD are psychotherapy and medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are the most common forms of psychotherapy to treat PTSD. These therapies help patients understand and cope with their emotions related to the trauma.

How does Ketamine help PTSD?

Research conducted on the potential of Ketamine to ease symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder determined the medication functions by hindering specific receptors in the brain, which can decrease stress hormone levels in the body, resulting in a soothing effect. Evidence is mounting to support its effectiveness in reducing PTSD symptoms.

Although Ketamine treatments are generally safe, there are side effects and risks to be mindful of, just like with any other medication. Some commonly reported side effects are confusion, nausea, increased heart rate, and visual disturbances. Patients should consult their physician before beginning a new treatment program.

Ketamine Treatment Process

Ketamine is a treatment method gaining notoriety for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and it involves a series of steps. Firstly, a qualified mental health professional must evaluate and diagnose you to ensure you have been accurately diagnosed with PTSD. This evaluation should consist of a discussion about your symptoms and any underlying factors that could contribute to them.

doctor talking to a man in her office

Depending on the protocol, you may receive single or multiple doses over a certain period. You may receive oral tablets, IV infusions, or injections depending on your doctor’s determination.

During the administration, your doctor will check your vital signs and note any reactions to the drug. After the administration of Ketamine, there will usually be a follow-up period to address any remaining symptoms, which may involve counseling or other types of therapy to assist you in managing the effects of PTSD.

Risks and Side Effects

Nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, sedation, fatigue, and blurred vision are the most frequent side effects of Ketamine. Some people may also encounter depersonalization, memory problems, and psychosis. It’s important to mention that these side effects are usually moderate and temporary.

Although Ketamine’s side effects are generally not serious, there are potential risks regarding its use as a treatment for PTSD. Ketamine may lower blood pressure, leading to fainting or heart arrhythmias. It can also interfere with other medications and should never be relied upon in combination with benzodiazepines, opioids, or alcohol. Additionally, specific individuals may have a higher risk of seizures when taking Ketamine.

Last Words

Ketamine is an effective treatment for PTSD that has the potential to offer considerable relief for those who suffer from this condition. This new treatment is gaining traction in the scientific community and is considered a promising treatment option. With medical supervision, treatment may help reduce anxiety, fear, and depression and can improve the quality of life for those with PTSD.

Experience The Benefits Of Ketamine Therapy At Home With Concierge MD

Ketamine IV therapy can help provide relief from a wide range of conditions, including treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and PTSD, by helping restore brain synapses and promoting repair.

One of our certified nurses comes to your location to administer treatment, saving you the time and hassle of visiting a clinic while providing safe, quality care. Our telemedicine portal provides fast, easy access to our team, making it simple to get the treatment you need to feel your best.

If you’re ready to book an appointment, give us a call or click the button below!


[1] Ketamine for pain management. Bell RF.

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