The Infusion Process
After check-in you will be taken to a private room where you'll be seated in a reclining chair and supplied with blankets, pillows, and other aids–ensuring your comfort throughout the procedure.
Prior to infusion you will receive an oral anti-nausea medication. A pulse oximeter will be placed on your finger to monitor your blood oxygen levels, a cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor blood pressure, and sensors will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart. Then you will be given a small IV through which the medication will be administered.
As the infusion begins the lights will be dimmed and relaxing ambient music will be played. You are welcome to bring your own music if you wish. Once underway you may choose to be left alone in the room, but be assured your doctor and/or nurse will continue monitoring your condition and responding to any needs.
The infusion itself lasts approximately 45 minutes, and the effects of the medicine come on in a steady gradual way. The effects vary by patient, but you may experience any of the following:
- Numbness and/or tingling
- Sensation of "lightness" or floating
- Feeling of being "centered" or "grounded"
- Positive shift in anxiety/emotional tension
- Intellectual detachment
- Heightened senses
- Visual and spacial distortions
- Inability to perceive time
- Dizziness or nausea in rare cases
Most patients find the experience to be pleasant and relaxing and report an improvement in depressive symptoms within 1 to 24 hours of treatment.
There is a 30 minute recovery time, during which you may feel drowsy or mildly disoriented. We advise that you arrange for transportation prior to the appointment. Do not drive yourself.
It is recommended that patients undergo 6 infusions over a two-week period in order to maximize the beneficial effects of the drug. It is not recommended to vary from this treatment protocol but we can make some adjustments to fit your personal schedule. After the initial series of infusions further “booster” treatments are determined on a case-by-case basis but are usually needed anywhere from every 2 weeks to 3 months.