*The FDA has not approved intravenous ketamine or NAD+ for the treatment of any psychiatric or pain condition. These articles reference off-label use. Like all medical treatments, the discussed therapies carry risks and benefits. Speak with a doctor at Clarus Health to learn if these therapies may be right for you.

Ketamine Therapy
Mar 8, 2024

Top 3 Ketamine Myths

What are the top 3 Ketamine myths patients ask Dr. Kaveh?

Top 3 Ketamine Myths

Ketamine has been in medical use since the 1970's. However, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding it. Here Dr. Kaveh will dispel the three most common myths patients ask him. Clearing this misinformation is important for patients to have access to this powerful therapy for treatment resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.

#1: Ketamine is a horse tranquilizer - it's only a veterinary anesthetic and not suitable for human use

This myth stems from ketamine's use in veterinary medicine. However, ketamine was originally developed for human use as an anesthetic and has been FDA-approved for this purpose since the 1970s. In the last 20 years there has been significant research in its use to treat challenging mental health conditions. Its physical effects make it ideal for veterinary use, which is why it has been repurposed for veterinary surgery. However, this is not unique to ketamine. Here are other common examples of repurposed human medications used in veterinary medicine:

  • Desmopressin: prevention of mammary carcinoma metastasis in dogs and cats
  • Doxycycline: decrease glucose uptake in cancerous cells in dogs
  • Losartan: a common human blood pressure medication studied for metastatic osteosarcoma in dogs
  • Metformin: a first line diabetic medication in humans with early diabetes investigated for canine prostate and bladder cancer

#2: Ketamine is just a party drug

While ketamine has been used recreationally and is known by names like "Special K," its medical use can far outweigh its abuse potential. The United States National Institutes of Health is actively investigating the powerful healing effects of Ketamine for numerous conditions, especially depression. In fact, IV Ketamine Therapy can be used to address the root causes of addiction.

The mindset that patients enter their Ketamine therapy with plays a critical part in the healing effects of Ketamine. This is a major difference between "party drug" use compared to therapeutic use. Ketamine is not alone in its abuse in non-medical settings. Other important medications that can also be abused include:

These are powerful medications that have important medical applications. However, as you can see, many powerful medications can also have significant abuse potential.

#3: Ketamine therapy leads to hallucinations or a "trip"

Ketamine is classified as a dissociative anesthetic. Indeed, Ketamine can alter perception and mood, though this has similarities to other altered states of consciousness, such as dreaming in REM sleep and anesthesia.

IV Ketamine Therapy involves lower doses that minimize the risk of unpleasant or intense psychedelic experiences. Instead, many patients report the experience as mild, with ketamine facilitating introspection and emotional processing rather than inducing a full psychedelic "trip." You can watch one of our patients receiving IV Ketamine in our video here.

In fact, recent research has suggested that dissociative experiences are not necessary for the anti-depressant effects of Ketamine therapy. However, this remains an active area of research, as some studies suggest otherwise. Regardless, patients often describe the experience pleasantly, such as like:

  • Experience of unity
  • Spiritual experience
  • Blissful state
  • Disembodiment

At Clarus Health, a doctor is with you during your IV Ketamine infusion at all times to minimize the risk of unpleasant effects.

Learn More About Ketamine's Potential in Your Healing

You deserve to grow and heal with your innate healing potential. Schedule a free consultation with Clarus Health to learn if IV Ketamine Therapy may be effective in uncovering your healing capacity.

Anthony Kaveh MD

Anthony Kaveh MD

Dr. Kaveh is a Stanford and Harvard-trained anesthesiologist and integrative medicine specialist. He has over 800,000 followers on social media and has guided hundreds of patients throughout transformative healing experiences. He is an authority on Ketamine, NAD, and SGB therapies. He is a registered continuing education lecturer in the Bay Area.