Ketamine stopped working

I have been doing IV ketamine for the past year. I did the 6 initial infusions and have been on maintenance every 6-10 weeks. The infusions were very effective and really helped. My last two infusions have not had any impact. I’m back in the black hole I was before starting the ketamine. Has anyone had a similar experience where the ketamine stopped working?

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@Firegirlsam, is everything the same, ie clinic, dosage, etc? Is there anything else in your life that has changed? Part of the problem could also be with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). A lot of us suffer from it (myself included), and that’s a tough nut to crack.

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I’ve been questioning the efficacy of the treatments, too. You’re not alone. However, I never underestimate this time of year. I’ve had to decrease the time between boosters and that’s worked for me. Once I get through the holiday, I hope to spread them out more…

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I haven’t been on here in a little while and I’m still doing infusions about once a month. I’ve had the same thoughts that ket has stopped working and my wife has told me she doesn’t think it’s working either (we still argue about the past quite often). I’ve been thinking how my behavior has changed and reversed back to the beginning of my infusions. Well they haven’t, I’m still depressed many days, angry many days, and even have to take a lorazepam on occasions when things get really bad for me, but not once since starting the infusions have I had the desire to point a gun to my head anymore. Yea, I still think about lots of negative things that has happened to me and can have some really horrific thoughts about myself and other people, but then I push on and realize I am making myself miserable by adding to my life story with all of the what if crap. I have to tell myself on a daily basis that I control my thoughts and if I let them control me then everyone that has caused harm to me wins, of course they don’t even know their competitors in my head. Ket has helped me see the positive when it’s working well and gets me back there when I let my mind take me astray. I will continue to do them even after having a couple of sessions that didn’t seem as good as others, but I’m still here to tell about it.

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@Ant Your post has so many critical points about the process and treatment of Ketamine. My integration therapist often describes trauma as highjacking your brain when the negative thoughts begin to flow or when I get frustrated and my inner critic holds no mercy on my thoughts or behavior. I appreciate your acknowledgement of the positive steps you have been able to achieve with the assistance of Ketamine.
The thought that strikes me as I read your post is maybe there is a need to increase your Ketamine dosage. Hang in there my friend! I think you should be very proud of the hard work you have accomplished! Wishing you peace!

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Yes. My last 2 didn’t do anything. I think my last one was my 14th. I don’t understand. It worked great 10 times and ok 2 and terrible the last 2. I’ve been going every 2-3 weeks after my initial 6. I thought it was just me.

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Have you tried asking for a higher dosage or tried doing the loading sequence over. I have redone my loading doses and have had to increase my dose. over the course of my 2 years getting Ketamine treatment. I’ve also asked for a longer infusion time.

I did my initial 6, then started boosters - every 2 weeks and eventually they spread out to 4 and I’m back down to 3 weeks. Ketamine never really took the SI away for me, from the beginning, but I kept with it because I did start noticing patterns more, etc. Good therapist. Good psychiatrist. Good ketamine clinician. The dosage has increased over time, the infusions are 60 mins instead of 40, and I feel as bad as when I started. I am beginning to wonder if it’s worth it. I was wide awake and playing on my phone, texting my husband, during the last infusion! I have brought up tolerance as a possible explanation, but I only do iv treatments and am told the frequency doesn’t support that theory. This is still all experimental. At what point do you say you’ve thrown enough $, time and effort at this? I am going to start TMS (again) but in conjunction with ketamine (what the he’ll, it’s only going to be another couple infusions while doing TMS). Supposedly, it’s supposed to work better in conjunction. But after that, depending on how I feel, I am reevaluating ketamine. It seems some people have great success AND there is a population that seems resistant to the effects or are short lived. I hope we, and anyone else struggling with this issue, have a breakthrough or find our success story wherever they may be, and soon.

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Wow. I can’t imagine even being able to speak, let alone text during an infusion! You must be super tolerant… or something. No wonder you’re questioning its effectiveness!

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My thought exactly. @Nanners, do you know what your dosage was?

I reiterate others thoughts. If you are able to text on your phone I don’t think your dose is high enough. Or are you taking meds known to be Ket blockers like benzodiazepines or lamictal??

Check out this Facebook group. One of the moderators is a nurse anesthetist and member of the association of ketamine physicians, a member of the ketamine task force (along with Osmind) trying to push to get insurance to pay and has written a book. Lots of helpful info on dosing etc.

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@TreeTopp2020 Thanks for the link! I will definitely check it out! Thank you everyone for your kind words! I didnt realize I needed to hear them and I am so grateful! Regarding the other questions posed: the only possible Ket Blocker would be Klonopin (which I regularly take 3x daily @ .5mg, but I DO NOT USE on infusion days, infusions are usually in late afternoon). No Lamictal. Past 6 infusion doses have been consistent @ 85mg total, utilizing a 15mg bolster to kickstart.
After the last experience, “everyone” on my team got together and decided to bring me back today for a 40 min infusion @ lower dose of 65mg, without a bolster, to see if it’s an internal defense mechanism blocking the experience…I felt like I had an expensive music session and I’m not buying that an internal defense system is restoring my clarity, awareness, and vision during an infusion.
Much love to all!

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We did on the last one, a fair amount. Unfortunately no change

I did move from sunny Colorado to not so sunny Washington. I had my Vitamin D checked and it’s good… I realize that could be part of it.

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Possibly… I moved from sunny Colorado to not so sunny Washington. I use the artificial lights and have my Vitamin D checked regularly.

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With benzodiazepines it does t matter if you stop day of infusion for people who use it daily Ket is known not to be as effective or effective at all. The Benzos and Ket work on some of the same receptors so the two drugs are basically in competition with each other to access those receptors. There is a podcast call Special K and one of the episodes has Dr Allison Wells address this topic. There is also a paper by her in the files on the FB group I gave you a link too.

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I’m just going to say that I’m at a much higher dose than that. I’m not an anesthesiologist, but wondering why they won’t increase your dose. I hit a dose that felt too high because I wasn’t comprehending anything and it was taking me too long to recover. We dropped it down - and that was still slightly higher than your dose!

Dear Ant,
I really relate to your story. I realized that being alone all of the time makes things so much worse.
I also went through a very frightening divorce and he lied and cheated to get everything.
I see a therapist but I’m going to start going to a domestic violence clinic.
I take other medications that help SO much with sleep.
Unfortunately, ketamine can’t take care of everything but it saved my life when the ex was trying to kill me…I could stay calm enough to get through.

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Thank you for your post …I have to keep reminding myself that most people couldn’t survive what I’ve been through.

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Have you suffered a lot of trauma in your life? It’s amazing that you can control the negative thoughts. Would talking to a trauma therapist help?

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