Ketamine Clinic San Diego

Ketamine was originally used as a sedative for horses but later was approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic in humans. In the 90’s it started to be widely used as a party drug with names such as Special K, K-Hole, and Horse Tranquilizer. However, recent research shows that Ketamine has great potential for alleviating the symptoms of depression, especially in people who have made little or no improvement with conventional antidepressants and treatments. There are Ketamine Clinics around the country that are treating people with depression with encouraging results.

Ketamine Clinic San Diego: Highlights

  • Qualified psychiatrists with years of experience are using ketamine off label to treat depression. They prepare the person beforehand and guide and support them during the treatment
  • A sub-anesthetic dose is administered by an anesthetist with constant monitoring of the patient by qualified personnel
  • Clinics have an informal setting with a comfortable relaxing atmosphere where the person feels safe and at ease
  • Immediate relief of depressive symptoms can be experienced and most people report a significant improvement in their mental state within 24-hours of treatment

Where Can I Find a Ketamine Clinic in San Diego?

There are three Ketamine Clinics in the San Diego area. 

Pacific Psychiatric Intervention & Wellness Centers, Ketamine for Life, 317 14th, Suite A, Del Mar, CA. Call 858 261 4622

South Coast TMS and Ketamine, 4405 Manchester Ave, Suite 102, Encinitas, CA.  Call 760 331 7735

Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute, 3252 Holiday Court, Suite 112, La Jolla, CA. Call 858 412 5088

Why Use a Ketamine Clinic in San Diego?

Ketamine offers the possibility of a fast-acting, effective relief for depression and other mental illnesses for people who have not responded to traditional anti-depressive drugs and/or ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).  

            Treatment-Resistant Depression

Although there are many different anti-depressive medicines available, most are slow- acting and many produce side-effects.  Both of these factors limit their usefulness, and while some people respond well to these medications, many people experience little or no relief. People who do not show a significant and sustained improvement in their symptoms are said to have treatment-resistant depression. It is estimated that about one-third of people with depression are treatment-resistant.

            What Makes Ketamine Different?

Ketamine can provide rapid and long-lasting relief from the symptoms of depression. Many people experience a marked improvement in their mental state almost immediately and most feel considerably better within a few hours of treatment. After completing a course of Ketamine, many people find sustained relief from their depression. Unlike most medications, that are only effective while they remain in your system, Ketamine actually triggers an ongoing reaction within the brain that allows brain connections to regrow. The development of new neural pathways allows people to develop more positive thought processes and behaviors.

            How Effective is Ketamine?

Ketamine works in a completely different way from traditional antidepressants. As treatment with intravenously administered Ketamine has not yet been approved by the FDA it is administered off label. Initial research shows excellent results at alleviating depressive symptoms with Ketamine, but the long-term effectiveness and possible side effects have yet to be thoroughly investigated. However, many people have found a fast, and enduring solution to their depressive condition.

It appears that Ketamine directly targets core symptoms of depression like helplessness, sadness, worthlessness, and even suicidality, as opposed to having a non-specific mood elevating effect. Ketamine can be administered alone or more commonly in a potential suicidal situation during the period it takes for other anti-depressant drugs to start working. Studies suggest that Ketamine administered along with cognitive behavior therapy is the most effective combination.

What Does a Ketamine Clinic Do?

A Ketamine Clinic offers a safe and controlled environment where a qualified doctor administers a set dose of Ketamine intravenously. Typically, the recipient will sit in a comfy chair in pleasant restful surroundings. Some clinics show nature videos or play soothing music. A qualified professional will accompany the patient throughout the session which typically lasts about an hour. 

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Normally a 20-minute chat with the psychiatrist precedes treatment. Then the patient receives a 20-minute intravenous infusion of a subanesthetic dose of Ketamine usually administered by an anesthesiologist. This is followed by a 20-minute infusion of a saline solution.

Ketamine Nasal Spray (Esketamine)

On March 5th this year, the FDA approved the use of a nasal spray called Esketamine for the treatment of depression. Esketamine contains a version of the Ketamine molecule which is half that normally used in the anesthetic version of the drug. The spray requires a prescription, but as it can be used as an outpatient treatment it is more readily accessible to patients.

Medical Monitoring

Occasionally, patients experience mild transitory increases in blood pressure, respiration rate, and heart rate. A qualified person will be present throughout the treatment monitoring the person’s response to the drug.

What does Ketamine Therapy Feel Like?

People have described Ketamine therapy as a pleasant experience where they feel a certain detachment that allows them to view things in a different way.

What Else Can Ketamine Help With?

Ketamine has been shown to be effective in the treatment of major depressive episodes including those experienced by people with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

            Ketamine and Anxiety

Ketamine has also produced favorable responses in patients suffering from a variety of mood disorders including SAD (social anxiety disorder) and GAD (general anxiety disorder).

            Ketamine and PTSD

A 2014 study showed that Ketamine reduced the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in 41 patients, and the doctors at the Pacific Psychiatric Intervention & Wellness Center in Del Mar are currently working with veterans to discover more about this treatment possibility for PTSD.

Why Are Ketamine Clinics Growing in Popularity?

Ketamine clinics are growing in popularity because they offer a real hope of relief from depression to people who have tried other treatment options with no success. Despite the elevated cost of treatment, Ketamine clinics can provide a fast and long-lasting improvement in depressive illnesses.



author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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