Ketamine Infusion Therapy: Taking the Obsessions Out of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) Treatment with Ketamine

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is marked by the presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both. Obsessions are recurrent or persistent thoughts that are undesirable and intrusive.

Patients suffering from OCD often try to ignore or suppress such thoughts but find it hard to do so. Compulsions are mental acts or behaviors that a patient feels driven to perform in response to an obsession.

Compulsions may include attempts at reducing anxiety but are excessive. Patients suffering from OCD often have obsessions or compulsions lasting on average at least one hour or more per day. Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, led by the sagacious and illustrious Dr. Steven Mandel, provides ketamine infusion treatments to address the symptoms of OCD for patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, and surrounding communities in this part of the landscape.


Ketamine Infusion Therapy 

Traditional medications to treat OCD include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline, or citalopram. The difficulty with these treatments is that it may take several months for the relief to set in. Secondly, the dosages are often quite high, producing an increased risk of unpleasant side effects.

In 2013, a major study was conducted to examine the effects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy on patients suffering from OCD who were not taking the conventional SSRI treatment. The study design was randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, and involved patients with near constant obsessions.

Results revealed that half of the treated patients met the criteria for treatment response. On the other hand, none of the patients who did not receive Ketamine Therapy met the same criteria.

The treatment response in this study was defined as a 35 percent reduction in OCD symptoms. Some of the patient reactions to the effects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy in this study by Rodriguez et al. included:

  • “I feel as if the weight of OCD has been lifted… I want to feel this way forever”
  • “I feel like someone is giving me an explanation (for my OCD)”
  • “I don’t have any intrusive thoughts. I was laughing when you couldn’t find the key, which normally is a trigger for me. This is amazing, unbelievable. This is right out of a movie”
  • “I tried to have OCD thoughts, but I couldn’t”

Supporting Other Treatments

Treatment providers have traditionally considered psychotherapy, and in particular a type of cognitive behavioral therapy called exposure therapy, as mainstream and necessary treatments for OCD patients. Once the patient receives Ketamine Therapy, it may help to maximize the therapeutic gains of exposure therapy for OCD patients through a natural process called neuroplasticity.

Patients often experience synergistic benefits of Ketamine Infusion Therapy and exposure therapy when these are used in conjuction because of ketamine’s property to facilitate neuroplasticity. The Ketamine protocol for treating OCD is currently similar to that used with major depressive disorder. Many patients suffering from the symptoms of OCD have reported relief with this treatment protocol.

Multiple OCD related ketamine trials are currently underway to create a more specific treatment protocol for OCD patients. Dr. Mandel receives patients from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, and nearby areas for ketamine infusion treatments.

For more information about treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at the Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling  310-270-0625 

Treating patients from LA, Beverly Hills, Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Sacramento,CA,  Las Vegas, NV and many other cities from west to east coast.

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