Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Ketamine Therapy?



Ketamine infusion therapy has shown positive outcomes in patients with treatment-resistant depression and specific mental health disorders, making them potential candidates for ketamine infusion therapy.

The treatment of ketamine is safe when administered under the supervision and care of an expert. Ketamine therapy has helped people cope with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar, and many other mental health issues. However, certain conditions such as psychiatric and medical history or personal characteristics may render a person unsuitable as a candidate for ketamine infusion therapy.

If you are considering this treatment for yourself or a loved one, you may wonder if this treatment is the right choice for you. This blog will help you understand the conditions for ketamine infusion therapy that limit a person’s eligibility for this treatment, highlighting potential contraindications or reasons to ensure your safety and well-being.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a promising new solution for treatment-resistant depression and other mental health disorders. The drug itself is not new, but its use as an antidepressant is. Prior to 1970, ketamine was primarily used to sedate soldiers and other patients for surgery and pain management. It also has a colorful history as a recreational drug. It has never been legal for recreational use.

Understanding ketamine therapy:

Ketamine therapy helps to increase a crucial neurotransmitter in the brain that regenerates disrupted neural connections and creates new neural pathways that facilitate normal brain function. This process creates a euphoric state in the individual receiving therapy and activates neuroplasticity.

People who qualify as candidates for ketamine infusion therapy often include those with treatment-resistant mental health conditions who have exhausted all other treatment options. Counseling, talking therapies, support groups, and even medications like antidepressants haven’t been able to block the negative thoughts.

These individuals have found respite through ketamine infusion therapy. When administered intravenously in a slow and controlled manner, ketamine can have profoundly therapeutic effects on the brain, regulating mood and behavior.

Research has shown that ketamine has the potential to alleviate feelings of depression, hopelessness, and even suicidal ideation. However, with all these benefits, not everyone is a good candidate for this treatment. Individuals who have certain kinds of cardiac problems, active internal bleeding, glaucoma, or are pregnant or underage should read on to learn more about the eligibility of getting ketamine therapy.

Is ketamine IV therapy right for you?

Ketamine has captured the world’s attention due to its potential to treat treatment-resistant mental health conditions. Nonetheless, patients who are being considered as candidates for ketamine infusion therapy must carefully decide if this treatment method is the best option for them.

Certain conditions, including psychiatric disorders, medical conditions, and personal traits, limit the applicability of this treatment to particular individuals.

Benefits for candidates of ketamine therapy:

Ketamine infusion therapy has grabbed the attention of the medical sphere due to its potential to treat certain mental health conditions.

Initially employed as an anesthetic, it’s now recognized for its multitude of benefits, particularly for patients who are candidates for ketamine infusion therapy.

This includes individuals suffering from treatment-resistant depression, OCD, and some other mental disorders.

Some of the benefits of this therapy are:

  • Beneficial for treatment-resistant depression
  • Effective for anxiety & post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic pain management 
  • Reduce suicidal ideation
  • The rapid and lasting effect 
  • Increased resilience to stressors
  •  Improved sleep patterns
  • Cognitive flexibility 

However, it is essential to remember that each individual responds to this treatment differently. Therefore, treatment outcome depends on individual specifications and psychiatric and medical history.

What are the Ketamine therapy’s side effects?

As ketamine treatment is gaining prominence due to its offering to treat mental health conditions, it is essential to know its potential side effects.

The short-term effects of ketamine are transient and typically subside after a few hours of treatment.

They may include:

  • Nausea 
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Hallucinations and feelings of disassociation

There are also some uncommon long-term side effects of ketamine, such as:

  • Cognitive impairments, 
  • Psychological disturbances 
  • Addiction
  • Liver and renal damage

Ketamine treatment is effective for mental health conditions but must always be administered in a medical setting to prevent adverse side effects.

Psychiatric Disorders:

Individuals experiencing active Psychosis or manic episodes may not be suitable candidates for Ketamine infusion therapy. Usually, Psychosis is a mental disorder characterized by a loss of contact with reality, causing difficulty in distinguishing between what is real and what is not.

These conditions may pose challenges for those considering this therapy, limiting its effectiveness and safety. Treatment with ketamine can induce hallucinations and dissociative effects, which may exacerbate psychotic disorder symptoms.

The impact of the treatment could be increased agitation and impulsive behavior. The change in disposition and cognitive behavior could aggravate their symptoms.

Medical Condition:

Occasionally, ketamine therapy can cause temporary increases in blood pressure and heart rate. As it increases the risk associated with cardiovascular activity, it is not recommended for individuals with hypertension or significant cardiovascular conditions.

People suffering from hyperthyroidism are also not advised to take ketamine. In hyperthyroidism, the body may already experience a high heart rate, which can be worsened by taking ketamine. 

Additionally, individuals with severe hepatic and renal diseases are not recommended for treatment, including those being considered as a candidate for ketamine infusion therapy.

People with precarious medical conditions must be treated cautiously so they are not exposed to unnecessary risks. A complete medical checkup and evaluation of the history, treatments used, and any other underlying problems should be necessary to prevent high-risk side effects of the ketamine infusion therapy.

Medicinal Interaction:

Ketamine can interact with certain medicines, such as opioids, antidepressants, and sedatives. These interactions may cause severe consequences or unpredictable results.

Indeed, one such important consideration is whether the individual is a suitable candidate for ketamine infusion therapy. A person considering ketamine infusion therapy must discuss their medication regimens with a healthcare provider to gauge potential interactions.

Substance Use Disorder:

Individuals with a history of substance use disorder or dependence, such as alcoholism or drug addiction, are not considered suitable candidates for ketamine infusion therapy.

Although ketamine itself is not considered addictive, People with a history of addiction are at higher risk of abusing it. Ketamine has also been misused as a party drug, and the ketamine nasal spray is often sold in un-administered bottles.

There’s a notable concern that ketamine treatment, while beneficial for some, can induce a sense of euphoria, leading to potential addiction in specific individuals. It can lead to a high tolerance level for the drug, increasing the dosage with each use. Therefore, these people are not typically seen as candidates for ketamine infusion therapy.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

Ketamine Infusion therapy is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women due to limited research on the effects of this treatment on this population.

Research is still underway to investigate the potential risks of ketamine treatment for a developing fetus or nursing infant. People with these conditions should explore alternative treatments cautiously. 

Generally, a pregnant woman or a nursing mother is advised against using over-the-counter or other medications that are not suitable for her. Thus, having a drug infusion like ketamine run into the mother’s bloodstream would definitely have adverse effects on the child inside or outside the womb.


Specific individuals, specifically those who are a candidate for ketamine infusion therapy, should be aware that allergies or hypersensitivity related to ketamine treatment are possible, but they are rare.

People with allergies to ketamine might exhibit symptoms and signs such as a rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, chest tightening, and breathing difficulties.

Other Considerations:

Other than psychiatric and medical issues, personal factors can limit an individual’s suitability for ketamine infusion therapy. Often, people who have abused this drug in the past seek treatment for it afterward. Such people might have a higher tolerance level to this drug and might need withdrawal therapy first or might need to assess whether they are affected by this drug or not.

Ketamine infusion treatment programs are designed based on a person’s individual needs. It’s crucial to evaluate whether a person is a suitable candidate for ketamine infusion therapy.

A person may feel improved in one session or might need a set of sessions, and even in some situations, they need extra boosters to maintain their progress.

Cost of Ketamine Integration:

Ketamine treatment also requires determination and commitment to the treatment plan. In the long run, a person not exhibiting these characteristics will not be a suitable candidate for this treatment.


Ketamine infusion therapy has shown promise as a treatment option for certain mental health conditions that are resistant to treatment and for chronic pain. Before choosing this treatment, it is necessary to consider its limitations.

People with active substance use disorders, psychotic disorders, unstable medical conditions, pregnancy or lactation, or the use of other medications may experience these limitations. If you want to undergo ketamine treatment and exhibit some of the symptoms mentioned above, it may be advisable to address your medical conditions first. You can seek this treatment once your physician has given you the all-clear.

Read also: Top 10 Cardiologists in Rajkot.