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Ketamine Administration: IM, IV, and Lozenges

September 30, 2022

Intramuscular, Intravenous, or Sublingual?

What Should I Expect When I Receive Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine is a psychoactive treatment that works differently from traditional therapies by changing the way that regions of the brain communicate with one another, which can rewire the brain’s response to depressive thoughts and anxious triggers, weaken the hold of traumatic memories, and strengthen connections between neurons. This neural rebalance helps to relieve both the physical and mental symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Ketamine therapy often shows antidepressant and anxiolytic effects within a matter of hours, and the benefits can be both long-lasting and life-changing.

What are My Options for Ketamine Administration?

There are three primary dosing methods, or “routes of administration,” for delivering Ketamine therapy. Each of these routes is safe and effective when dosed appropriately by qualified practitioners in a controlled environment. At Field Trip, an experienced medical professional will administer the medicine through Intramuscular Injection in the United States, and Sublingually in Canada. Generally speaking, the three primary routes of administration for Ketamine therapy are: 

  • Intramuscular Injection (IM): IM is an injection technique that delivers medication directly into the muscle using a needle, which allows the medication to be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. IM injection also has the benefit of bypassing the first-pass metabolism system, which means the medication is less likely to cause side effects such as nausea because it bypasses the gastrointestinal system. You’ve most likely received an IM injection if you’ve received a vaccine recently, such as a flu shot. This is the route of administration at Field Trip USA.
  • Sublingual (SL): Medications delivered sublingually (SL) are dissolved under the tongue and delivered directly into the bloodstream through the network of blood vessels located in the mouth. This route of administration provides a less rapid rate of absorption than injection routes, which can produce a slower and less active effect of medication upon the body. SL medication is often delivered in the form of a lozenge. This is the route of administration in most of our Canadian Field Trip clinics, based on regional regulations.
  • Intravenous Injection (IV): IV injections deliver medication directly into the vein using a needle or catheter, and offer the ability to carefully control the flow rate of medication over time. IV administration slowly administers precise amounts of medication, but it isn’t a great way to deliver significant amounts of medication at once, as required in Ketamine therapy. If you’ve ever had surgery, your anesthetic was most likely delivered slowly and steadily through an IV route. Field Trip does not use this route of administration.

Understanding the Routes of Administration

Field Trip offers two routes of Ketamine administration: IM and SL. Both IM and SL administration are safe and effective, and your medication dosage will be tailored to your personal preference and therapy goals.

IM injection is a great route of administration for Ketamine therapy because it delivers the appropriate dose of therapy quickly and directly into the bloodstream while minimizing many side effects associated with oral medications. Ketamine injected directly into the muscle doesn’t need to pass through the stomach, which can minimize the gastrointestinal side effects that some experience from therapy, such as nausea. IM administration also optimizes Ketamine’s bioavailability, or the amount of medication that enters circulation and is able to have an active effect on the body. When ketamine is injected directly into the muscle, it becomes immediately and actively accessible to the circulatory system, which means you’ll be able to feel its effects more rapidly than with other routes of administration. For these reasons, Field Trip’s medical professionals use the IM route for Ketamine therapy sessions.

SL administration has the ability to be a gentler approach if desired, and is another good option because Ketamine administered SL produces a slower and less sensational effect on the body. SL administration also avoids many of the side effects associated with orally administered therapies, as medications dissolved under the tongue enter the bloodstream directly and avoid metabolism by the stomach and liver. If you’re looking for a slower therapy session, or can’t stomach the idea of needles, SL administration might be the best choice for you. 

Field Trip’s health providers are professionally trained and licensed medical practitioners including experienced physicians and psychiatrists, registered psychotherapists, and licensed nurse practitioners. Your therapy will take place in a health center designed specifically to optimize your therapeutic experience and customized to you specifically. Our trained experts will work with you to craft a personalized dosing plan based on your comfort level, medical history, and therapeutic goals. A medical provider will be present during your Ketamine therapy session to safely administer your treatment, monitor your vital signs and blood pressure, and ensure your safety. Side effects are generally mild and resolve quickly, but our experts will be on hand to offer medication to manage any side effects you may experience during treatment. This safe and secure environment will allow you to focus on your healing journey with the confidence that your body is being cared for by trained experts.

‍Does Field Trip Health Have a Ketamine Therapy Clinic Near Me?

Field Trip Health has clinics throughout the US and Canada. If you are ready to begin your journey toward healing and build your personalized treatment plan, then give us a call to learn more:

  • 1-888-519-6016 (USA)
  • 1-833-222-0084 (Canada)

Or schedule an appointment online, and our team will reach out to you.‍

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