ketamine infusion

What Does Getting a Ketamine Infusion Feel Like?

Updated June 2022

Feeling anxious or worried about your first ketamine infusion is normal, but it is a safe and easy procedure when performed by a trained healthcare provider. Your first treatment at KWC will be a low, manageable dose carefully administered by your qualified care team. Ketamine is a frequently used, research-backed medication that is widely regarded as a beneficial and even rewarding part of the healing process.

How do I prepare for my ketamine infusion?

It’s always best for the day of your treatment to be as calm and stress-free as possible. If you can, you might want to make arrangements in the days leading up to your appointment so you can return home without errands or responsibilities to worry about. You should also wear a comfortable outfit so you can relax during your infusion.

To set you up for the best possible experience, your care team at Ketamine Wellness Centers will review guidelines with you ahead of time when to take current medications, when to eat, and when to drink fluids. 

You will not be permitted to drive for a few hours after your treatment, so you should arrange to have a ride home. If you are unable to have someone pick you up, consider using a rideshare app like Lyft or Uber.

What is the treatment room like?

After checking in, you will be brought into your private treatment room. If you bring a friend, relative, or support animal, you can choose to have them stay with you during your infusion. Your nurse will also stay in the room during the entire treatment to monitor the procedure and keep you feeling safe and comfortable.

Our treatment rooms are designed to be relaxing and customizable to your specific needs. You will have access to:

  • A large recliner to sit or lay in during treatment
  • Blankets and pillows
  • A light-blocking sleep mask
  • Dimmed lights
  • Soothing music
  • Smart TV with Netflix, Spotify, and other streaming services

Some patients enjoy watching peaceful nature scenes or listening to positive affirmations during ketamine treatment. Your comfort is important, and our staff is committed to making sure you receive care suited to your personal needs.

What does ketamine feel like?

On average, it takes 5-10 minutes to feel the effects of ketamine infusion. Unlike other forms of ketamine therapy, the dosage of your infusion can be controlled and adjusted at any time during your treatment session.

Some of the most common experiences on ketamine include:

  • Deep relaxation or dissociation. Patients describe feeling “floaty,” “light,” or like they are dreaming. Dissociation from ketamine infusion tends to be a pleasant or neutral experience, and it is believed that this state of mind allows for processing emotions without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Feeling happy or euphoric. Ketamine may make you feel happy or blissful. For patients suffering from depression, the euphoria from ketamine treatment can feel like a sudden relief from the daily weight of pain and worry.
  • Heightened senses. You may become more aware of instruments in the music you’re listening to, the softness of your blanket, or the intensity of different colors.
  • Safely revisiting past memories or trauma. One way ketamine therapy works is by allowing us to process the difficult feelings or memories we usually avoid. Although this can be challenging, it is also an important step towards processing feelings and beginning to heal.

While no two experiences are the same, most patients find that ketamine feels pleasant. Ketamine treatment is sometimes compared to the feeling of being tipsy after having a cocktail.

If you do feel side effects like anxiety or nausea, your care team can lower your dose or administer additional medication to relieve these symptoms. 

The length of ketamine infusion varies from person to person. Patients seeking treatment for mental wellness should plan to be at their appointment for around an hour and a half, while infusions for chronic pain typically last around 4 hours.

How will I feel after my infusion?

Once your ketamine infusion is complete, you will need to stay at the clinic for around 20 minutes. This waiting and observation period is just to make sure you are ready to go home safely.

The time it takes for the sensation of the infusion to fully wear off is different for everyone, but you should expect to feel tipsy or “off” for at least a few hours. Because ketamine can stay in your system for several hours after your treatment, you should plan to avoid driving or anything else that requires you to be fully alert for the rest of the day. 

In the days after ketamine therapy, it is common to feel a “glow” of hopefulness or relief. As feelings of depression and anxiety fade, you may find yourself feeling more social, picking up an old hobby, or taking care of work you have been putting off. 

The days and weeks after ketamine therapy are a good time to check in with a therapist. Without ongoing support, the benefits of ketamine therapy can eventually decline. By using integration therapy, you can turn your short-term symptom relief into long-term lifestyle and mood improvements.

Need a therapist? KWC offers a free directory of ketamine-friendly integration professionals. Our expert Health and Wellness Coordinator can also work with you to create a Facilitated Treatment Support plan

Unlike typical antidepressants (which must be taken daily), ketamine therapy can be used as-needed. Some patients get maintenance therapy every month, while others only need it once or twice a year. There is no one-size-fits all solution, and your care team can help you find a treatment schedule that works best for you.

Successful ketamine therapy does require a commitment, but our patients often find it provides the breakthrough relief they’ve been waiting for. No matter what your struggles are, there is hope—and treatment can help.

Further reading: Insurance Coverage for Ketamine Treatment

Ketamine Wellness Centers

Ketamine Wellness Center’s mission is to provide personalized, compassionate, high-quality care for people suffering from afflictions where Ketamine infusions have proven a successful treatment option (Depression, Chronic Pain, PTSD, OCD, Suicidality) while actively researching Ketamine’s efficacy to treat additional conditions. There is hope. There is help.

855-KET-WELL (1-855-538-9355)

844-KET-WELL (1-844-538-9355)



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