Ketamine Centers of Chicago is committed to providing you with a satisfying and efficient patient experience. For depression, we have our Clarify protocol that will be customized to your needs and goals. We also have a licensed clinical therapist on staff for your support and will work closely with your primary physician or mental health provider. For chronic pain, our Resolve protocols will be tailored to your specific needs depending on the nature and severity of your symptoms. If you need, we have consulting pain management physicians to assist in your care and follow up.
Testimonial of the Month
I came to Dr. Nandra at IV Solution in Chicago at what was the lowest point in my life. I was in a state of most abject despair, was constantly wishing for death, and could barely function. Meanwhile, life was as difficult as it could be, with familial abuse, financial difficulties, and the difficulties of adjusting to a new life all proved impossible to negotiate. Having been diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD, and having been on every SSRI, SNRI, benzodiazepine, and mood-stabilizer possible (save Lithium), I was on the verge of giving up all hope. Then, I came across a few journal articles on the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine, and read up on several patient testimonies online. My psychiatrist was skeptical, not least because the effects might be short-lived, and the treatment rather expensive, but, in the end, I decided that my life was worth more than a few thousand dollars, and that, if a treatment promised hope, it would be foolish to say 'no' to it.
Dr Nandra was a kind, patient, and thoughtful physician from the start. He gave me the time I needed to talk some things through and was flexible enough to accommodate me on Saturdays and evenings. He seemed keen to help. He was also honest about its effects from the start, and though he believed in the near-miraculous properties of ketamine, he did not oversell it, nor seemed to believe it will be the last word in mental health. As a former medical student and an investigative journalist, it was reassuring.
When I first arrived, I scored very high on the Beck Scale for Depression. I was sleep-deprived, tired, and very nervous. But Dr Nandra and his team were compassionate and helpful. Nurse Candy was particularly delightful to talk to. I came armed with Bach -- it is best to have as soft and calming a music as possible, and a heart full of hope and despair. The infusion itself was a relatively smooth experience. The dissociative effects were mild, and at times even rather pleasant. Most importantly, ketamine had none of the nasty side effects I had come to expect from every other psychotropic drug I had taken over the past ten years.
Immediately after the first infusion, I felt such a rush of relief, the rapid disappearance of suicidal thoughts, and a general lift in mood. Suddenly, life didn't seem so horrible after all. Though my mood was still volatile, I was sufficiently motivated to see through five more infusions in two weeks. Each time, there was a palpable improvement in all my symptoms. In fact, as I discovered, my scores on the Beck Scale dropped by more than 50% at the end of my first round of infusions, and by more than 75% by the end of my second. (True, these scales are ever subjective and mere approximations. But then, mental illnesses are by definition subjective and approximate. That shouldn't worry us.)
There are some unrealistic expectations of what ketamine can achieve -- such as the sudden end to all low moods, all sadness, or all anxiety. In my experience, though there can be a short-lived euphoria or a perceptible improvement of mood that lasts a day or two, the effects of ketamine are much more subtle and are often felt a few days after the infusion. It was more as if there had been many impediments to thought, to hope, and to act in my life, and suddenly, these impediments, fear is the greatest of them, were removed. After my second infusion, I went running -- something I had wanted to do for months, but couldn't bring myself to. After my third, I went to the Art Institute, which I hadn't done for months. After my fourth, I found myself calling friends, which I had resisted for months. And, over the last two infusions, I was able to confront my abusers, move houses, and able to put the groundwork for a new job, all of which would have crushed me into pain and inaction weeks earlier.
I would advise working closely with a therapist, or a good psychiatrist, in conjunction with Dr Nandra. Ketamine is not a permanent solution -- but it is a life-saver. Think of it as a bypass for your brain. It gives you a reprieve -- sometimes for a few weeks, for the lucky, for months. Now is the time to work through things with your therapist, put in place measures to protect yourself, or enact routines that you can sustain over the long term. Now is the time to begin things you've long postponed, or address things you've long avoided. In fact, it has been my experience that, under ketamine, you find yourself automatically doing and thinking things somewhat differently. It is not that you become different -- in fact, never under ketamine was my sense of myself, or my identity, disturbed. Rather, I was suddenly much kinder to myself, and to others. And, that kindness, once learned, could be sustained. So it is with all the progress you make. To pick up again the analogy of the bypass, the responsibility for exercise and eating well still remains yours.
You will find that many psychiatrists are, however, opposed to ketamine, sometimes strongly so. It is a question of territorialism, sometimes, and at times, of influence from the drug industry; but for the most part, I think it has more to do with fear and ignorance. My own psychiatrist advised against it, but when I asserted my right to get one, he did not resist it. In the end, even he came to acknowledge how much it helped. If your therapist is amenable, I would advise printing out some literature from PubMed, or other resources online, and giving it to them. See if they have an open mind. If not, remember, it is still your right as a patient to get the treatment you see fit. Every patient has some right in the manner of her own prescription. And Ketamine is so innocuous, under clinical settings, with a longer history of use than most other psychotropic drugs, that a dogmatic refusal to engage with it must make anyone suspicious. So, don't be afraid to convince your therapist, if necessary.
Ultimately, it is my belief that people who are suffering as I have been for years must not be denied a treatment that might save their lives. It may not be for everyone, and it may be short-lived for most. But relief is a relief, and for those wrestling with suicidal thoughts, or unbearable despair, all relief is welcome. So, if you are suffering, and think Ketamine might help, to the extent that you can afford it, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Surely our life is worth at least that?
What Other Patients Say About Us
My decision to try ketamine IV treatment came at a difficult time in my life. I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning and barely getting by at work. I knew I had to try something or else I wouldn’t be self-sufficient much longer. Depression/anxiety is present on both sides of my family. It was with me since childhood but was getting worse over time. I knew that physical activity and diet helped so I tried every exercise/nutrition plan out there. This helped me get by but didn’t solve my problem. I was hesitant to try Ketamine or any other drugs, but I felt I didn’t have much choice. Fortunately, the side effects are minimal and fade away a few hours after treatment. The improvements in my mood and stress levels came immediately. One of the most noticeable improvements was to my sleep. I now fall asleep much faster and get out of bed earlier in the morning. With consistent rest, my focus at work has improved. My energy levels are up now, and I feel like talking with coworkers/family and friends again. Since the treatment, I reached out to an old friend I had lost touch with and have reconnected with them. 3 weeks after my initial treatment I’m doing really well, still feeling the benefits. I would recommend this treatment to anyone else that is going through similar issues.
I am so grateful to have been referred to IV Solution by a friend where I received six IV ketamine infusions for bi-polar depression. After the first treatment, I could feel a shift in mood. During the next five treatments, change was subtle, but during the day I would realize I wasn’t having anxiety in certain situations and suicidal ideation had vanished. In fact, I couldn’t even will myself to have those thoughts. Now my mood is more stable and I feel lighter physically. My daughter even noticed a change telling me I’m suddenly more positive. The underlying hum of depression that has affected every aspect of my life for as long as I can remember is gone! I can honestly say IV ketamine therapy is a miracle.
I felt dramatically better the day after my first treatment for depression. It's been almost six weeks since I received the treatments, and I still feel great! The staff was very professional and seemed genuinely concerned about my well-being.
I recently went through 3 rounds of high dose chemotherapy to treat a curable form of cancer. Fortunately, the cancer was cured, but I was suffering from painful neuropathy in my lower legs and feet and also episodic depression as a result of the high dosage chemotherapy. I came across Dr. Nandra's low dosage Ketamine treatment through researching treatment options and decided to give it a try. Well, the results have exceeded my expectations - not only has my neuropathy pain been significantly reduced, the symptoms of depression have lifted and I feel terrific! I wholeheartedly endorse this form of treatment and would recommend to anyone suffering the after-effects of chemotherapy.
After being diagnosed with clinical depression at a very young age, I spent most of my life trying to find a depression and anxiety medication that worked for me. While some of the medications brought me relief from my depression, they also came with side effects that were impacting other parts of my life. After reading a lot of information on the results of ketamine treatments I decided to give it a shot. I can’t tell you what a difference it has made in my life! It was a very quick and noticeable change in not only my attitude and overall outlook on life, but it felt great to be excited again to go and do things with my wife and friends. I can’t recommend the folks at IV Solutions and ketamine treatments enough to anyone battling depression and anxiety. Without trying to sound too cliche, its literally changed my life!
What to Expect
After your initial inquiry to us and enrolling in the treatment protocol, we will ask you to complete a few questionnaires for health and medication screening. You will also complete a standard depression score assessment. If there are certain medications that can affect the ketamine infusion’s response, we will ask your prescribing physician to review your history and advise on managing those. You will be asked to arrive to the center with a prearranged ride home because of the potentially lingering effect for a few hours after the infusion. You should not have any solid food for at least 4 hours before the infusion and no liquids for 2 hours. You can bring headphones and music and we recommend calming music.
Upon arrival, you will check in and then be taken back to the private infusion room. There, a nurse or the anesthesiologist will start your IV and start the infusion. You may get a medication for nausea in the IV. You will be comfortably reclining or laying down for the 45 minutes’ duration of the infusion and we will have a blood pressure cuff and other standard monitors on you that we will watch closely. For chronic pain treatment, the infusion will last up to 4 hours.
After the infusion starts, you will almost immediately feel a little drowsy and will start feeling “free” or “floating”. You will most likely not sleep and we will adjust dosing if you feel agitation or any other untoward feelings although this is rare. Once the infusion is over, the effects may last for a few more minutes. We will have you recover for around 30-45 minutes and you will then be free to take your ride home.
Your length of response to the infusion will vary from patient to patient but will increase with subsequent treatments. After the first series of six infusions for depression, you may have relief of symptoms for 1-2 months and for as much as 6 months. We will then schedule single booster infusions as needed to control your symptoms.
Health Screening Form
For your convenience we have provide below the Health Screening form. Please download, fill out and either email or fax to:
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