Integrative Medicine, Local Sonoma County

Could Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Be Your Path to Hope and Healing? Insights into Eligibility and Contraindications

Author: hillparkmedicalcenter1 June 10, 2024

This post has been shared by our colleagues at Temenos Center, offering Psychedelic and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy in Petaluma and at Hill Park Integrative Medical Center in Sebastopol.

Have you been feeling stuck in the cycle of treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or other conditions like addiction, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, grief, or long COVID? Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) is emerging as a groundbreaking treatment offering hope for many individuals. When exploring KAP, it’s important to be aware of any contraindications—specific conditions or factors that might make the treatment less suitable for some individuals.

We understand that navigating a new treatment can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to make this process as straightforward and supportive as possible. At Temenos, we’re trained to help you examine whether KAP might benefit you. Email [email protected] for a complimentary 20-minute consultation to discuss how we can support your journey to better health.

Contraindications

Understanding who should avoid KAP is as vital as knowing who might benefit. At Temenos, our staff members are dedicated to offering personalized assessments to determine if KAP is a good fit for your unique needs. We understand that some conditions may require further evaluation, and we’ll guide you through the process every step of the way. Please note that this overview is a starting point, not a substitute for professional medical advice. 

Contraindications can be broadly categorized into psychological and physiological groups:

Psychological:

  • Severe mental health conditions: Individuals with a personal or family history of psychosis or schizophrenia and active mania (as seen in bipolar disorder) are typically advised against undergoing KAP. People with bipolar disorder may be eligible if they are using a mood-regulating medicine prescribed by their psychiatrist.
  • Current mental state: For those experiencing intense emotions or suicidal thoughts, prioritizing stabilization is key. We can help you find resources to get you the support you need before considering KAP.

Physiological:

  • Cardiovascular issues: People with uncontrolled blood pressure are ineligible, as ketamine can induce changes in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Neurological conditions: Individuals with a personal or family history of seizures or epilepsy are at risk of exacerbating these symptoms with ketamine use.
  • Medication interactions: Certain medications, like Benzodiazepines or MAOIs, can interact with KAP. If you’re currently taking any medications, we’ll discuss them during your consultation to ensure a safe and effective treatment plan. This may involve adjusting your medications under the careful guidance of your healthcare team.

General Medical Considerations:

  • Substance use: A history of substance misuse may complicate treatment and increase the risk of dependency on ketamine and is best addressed before pursuing KAP. Temenos can help you find support.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Due to potential risks to the baby, pregnant mothers are typically excluded from KAP treatments. There are potential breastfeeding protocols that may make KAP possible (i.e., the “pump-and-dump” method).

Safety and Supervision – Am I Still Eligible with Contraindications?

If you have identified any contraindications from this blog that could apply to you, don’t worry – gathering the right information is the first step towards making informed decisions about your treatment. 

First, it’s recommended that you speak with your primary healthcare team and set up a free 20-minute consultation with Temenos staff. Be upfront with all information so your providers can make the most informed decision— while certain contraindications could make KAP harmful to the patient, others can be mitigated for a safe KAP experience. For example, medications like MAOIs can be managed by working with your care team to gradually reduce medication use under clinical supervision. Never do this by yourself, only under the supervision of medical staff.

If your care team agrees, the next step is a thorough evaluation by a Temenos medical professional who can assess the full spectrum of your mental and physical health profile, ensuring that it is a safe and effective service. 

Final Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. KAP is always administered in a controlled environment, with experienced medical professionals monitoring you closely during and immediately after treatment. If you live in the North Bay Area and beyond, email [email protected] to set up a complimentary 20-minute consultation with our Sonoma County providers to see if KAP may offer a safe and effective treatment for you.

Temenos Center’s Psychedelic and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy is available at their location in Petaluma and at Hill Park Integrative Medical Center in Sebastopol.

Citations

Wang, M. (2022, May 9). Interactions between ketamine and prescription antidepressants. Translational Psychedelic Research Program. https://psychedelics.ucsf.edu/blog/interactions-between-ketamine-and-prescription-antidepressants

American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2023, August). Ketamine infusion therapy treatment considerations. https://www.apna.org/ketamine-infusion-therapy/ 

 

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