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Mood Disorders, can Ketamine Infusion Therapy help?

Mood Disorders, can Ketamine Infusion Therapy help?

Can Ketamine Really Help People with a Mood Disorder?

Can-Ketamine-Really-Help-People-with-a-Mood-Disorder Mood Disorders, can Ketamine Infusion Therapy help? Los Angeles Southern California “Mood Disorder” is a group of conditions where a disturbance in a person’s mood is the main underlying feature. Mood disorders can manifest in a variety of different ways and can impact anyone, at any time. In some cases, a mood disorder may be so mild that others may barely notice its impact; in other cases, it can inhibit any ability to participate in routine activities, social interactions, and/or family relationships. Regardless of the specific manifestation, any mood disorder is a serious medical concern requiring medical and/or psychiatric intervention.

No one can define “the best treatment” for mood disorders. Mood disorders manifests differently in each unique person. Treating a mood disorder, therefore, requires careful medical and psychological assessment coupled with a carefullytailored treatment plan. At times, talk therapy/cognitive behavioral therapy and medications may not be enough. It can also be very tough to find the right medication which takes time and possible unwanted side effects.

The medical community has made tremendous strides in developing powerful and effective medications and treatments for treating mood disorders. One of the most recent discoveries is a treatment that uses a commonly known drug called ketamine. An increasingly large body of research now shows that IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy—the administration of a low dosage of ketamine directly into the blood stream—may be a safe and highly effective treatment for many patients suffering from a range of mood disorders such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Bipolar Depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Is Ketamine Safe for Mood Disorders?

Ketamine has been in use as a fast-acting anesthesia for decades; Its rapid impact on the chemistry of the brain is one of its greatest benefits when used appropriately to treat mood disorders. Many patients have found that IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy offers significant relief from depression, anxiety, negative thinking, and especially suicidal ideation sometimes within hours.

used in a clinical setting as part of an approved medical treatment plan, IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy is both safe and effective for many individuals suffering from mood disorders. Treatments with ketamine involve extremely low doses of the medication, delivered directly into the bloodstream at a slow and controlled pace. At Ketamine Clinics of LA, we utilize state-of-the-art digital infusion pumps that enable us to carefully control the dose and rate of infusion for each individual patient. As with any medication, each patient is carefully monitored during and after each infusion treatment.

Understanding mood disorders and the best methods of treating them present an ongoing challenge for the medical community. Every treatment option available today has both benefits and risks. It is exciting to see so many in the medical community appreciate the significant benefits that Ketamine Infusion Therapy can have for patients suffering from mood disorders.

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

Ketamine vs. Esketamine for Depression

Ketamine-vs-Esketamine-for-Depression Ketamine vs. Esketamine for Depression Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaKetamine versus Esketamine: How do they differ for the treatment of depression?

On March 5 of this year, the FDA approved a new therapy option for treatment resistant depression: esketamine (marketed as SPRAVATO™). Esketamine is similar to an existing drug—known as ketamine—which has a long history as a safe and effective fast-acting anesthetic and has also been increasingly used to treat depression and suicidal ideation. Because esketamine and ketamine are similar, exactly why they are similar, and more importantly, how they differ, can be tricky. Here are some key FAQs that can help you understand these two treatment options and help you decide if one might be the key in treating your depression.

Are esketamine and ketamine the same medication? 

Esketamine is derived from ketamine. Ketamine is composed of two mirror-image molecules that exist together but spin in difference directions. This is called a racemic mixture; ketamine is composed of two molecules known as R-ketamine and S-ketamine. When a racemic mixture is separated, each molecule on its own is called an enantiomer. Therefore, as the S-enantiomer of ketamine, esketamine is literally one-half of the molecular compound ketamine.

Do esketamine and ketamine work the same way?

Although scientists are still studying exactly how and why these drugs stimulate relief from depressive symptoms so quickly and so effectively, most researchers currently believe that both drugs work by acting as N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Both medications restore the brain’s proper levels of a compound known as glutamate, which in turn re-establishes the correct balance of neurotransmitters required for a healthy, well-functioning brain.

Are ketamine and esketamine administered in the same way?

The route of administration is one of the biggest differences between ketamine and esketamine.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy delivers a precisely-controlled low dose of ketamine directly into the bloodstream through an IV. This delivery mechanism ensures that 100% of the drug enters the body; moreover, each treatment can be precisely controlled and quickly altered to meet the needs of each patient, each time.

Esketamine, as SPRAVATO™, is self-administered as a nasal spray. Delivered this way, the body absorbs less of the drug, and does so less evenly due to factors such as mucus, congestion, and the effectiveness of the delivery.

Both Spravato and Ketamine Infusion Therapy can only be administered in a clinic setting under close supervision (SPRAVATO™ is self-administered, but only while an approved clinician is monitoring). Patients are carefully monitored during and after treatment to watch for any possible side effects.

Which treatment is more effective?

Because Spravato is so new, the studies specifically comparing the two are still limited, however, early evidence shows that while both treatment modalities offer fast-acting and highly effective relief from treatment resistant depression and other serious mood disorders, ketamine is more effective than Spravato. This is likely less to do with the chemical compound of the drug than with how it is administered. Ketamine infusion treatments enable the drug to be 100% bioavailable, while the nasal spray is likely to be less than 50% bioavailable; moreover, with IV infusion, the level of ketamine in the bloodstream can be more carefully and precisely controlled.

Which option—Ketamine Infusion Therapy or Spravato—is better for me?

If you suffer from depression and are treatment resistant to medication or having unwanted side effects, call Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles for a free phone consultation to see if Ketamine Infusion Therapy is a good treatment option for you 310-270-0625.


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

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Suicide Prevention

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Suicide Prevention  

shutterstock_1140282473-945x630 Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Suicide Prevention Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaThe statistics on suicide in the United States are appalling. According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States today; statistically speaking, you or someone you know is twice as likely to die by suicide as by homicide.[1] For young people between the ages of 10 and 34, the statistics are even worse: suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. Veterans are 50% more likely to commit suicide than the general population.[2] Yet unfortunately, suicide continues to remain a hidden, unspoken issue, one that all-too-often individuals and families find they must recognize, understand, and cope with on their own.

Yet suicide is preventable, if we can (1) recognize individuals who may be at risk of suicide and (2) develop timely and effective intervention to stop the cycle of negative thinking that may lead to suicide. The first step may be hardest. Suicidal ideation—thinking about and/or planning suicide—can be difficult to recognize, especially for individuals who do not have strong familial and/or social relationships or who loathe to share their thoughts. Once suicidal ideation is recognized, the medical community has tools available that can quickly break the cycle of negative thinking that could potentially lead to suicide.

The key to rapid intervention in suicidal thinking may lie in a “new” treatment called IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy. In fact, the treatment really isn’t “new.” Ketamine has been available as an anesthetic for a long time; however, its use as a “fast acting” treatment for depression, PTSD, and mood disorders has only been recognized in the past couple of decades. Unlike many other antidepressants that build up slowly in the body over time, ketamine is quickly absorbed through the blood-brain barrier and immediately begins restoring the brain’s natural chemical balance (ketamine is believed to be an NMDA receptor antagonist, blocking the brain’s improper absorption of a chemical known as glutamate). Thus, ketamine appears to offer, for many patients, a rapid improvement in mood and a significant decrease in suicidal ideation.

Recent Studies Indicate Ketamine’s Rapid Impact May Help Prevent Suicide

Scientific studies are beginning to support what clinicians working “on the front lines” have learned through anecdotal evidence. Over the past several years, numerous researchers have conducted small-scale clinical trials comparing the impact on suicidal ideation of low dose ketamine infusions and low dosages of midazolam, a well-known sedative. [3] Working with groups of patients presented in either an inpatient or outpatient setting with major depressive symptoms and/or suicidal ideation, these studies indicate that while both medications are effective at reducing suicidal thinking, those patients who received ketamine infusions experienced a significantly greater reduction in depression and suicidal thinking over 24 hours, and especially over 48 hours. One study, moreover, noted that those patients who received ketamine infusions continued to experience relief for up to six weeks.

For individuals who are caught in a downward spiral of depression and suicidal thoughts, time is simply a luxury they do not have. For those individuals who can ask for help, or who are lucky enough to have friends and loved ones recognize their struggle, life-saving intervention is possible. Ketamine Infusion Therapy can break the cycle of negative thinking quickly, safely, and effectively, opening the door for successful long-term treatment.



[3] Two such studies are (1) Michael F. Grunebaum, et al. Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2018; 175:4; pages 327-335. Published Online: 5 Dec 2017.


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

A Video Message from Dr. Mandel!

A video message from Dr. Mandel!

Summer is here and 2019 is halfway through. Take some time to stop and do something you enjoy, read that book you’ve been meaning to pick up, go outside, and set some new goals. In the above video, Dr. Mandel shares some updates on his life, including recent adventures and tips for the summer!

Video soundtrack: My Way Back written and recorded by Daniel
The beautiful soundtrack of this video was written and recorded by our patient Daniel after Ketamine Therapy at Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles reunited him with his passion for composing music. As a sign of appreciation to our team, he wrote this song “My Way Back” specifically for us. Thank you Daniel for this beautiful gift; your ability to share your story though music has inspired us all! Listen for My Way Back if placed on a brief hold when calling the office.

Minority Mental Health Month 
“July was designated as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008 to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States (US). While the term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities within the US, Mental Health America (MHA) is focused on expanding this term to include individuals from a wide-range of marginalized and under-served communities, including those who may identify as part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, refugee and immigrant groups, religious groups, and others who are often overlooked…” Read More .
4a2cf4d9-7ef5-4079-99a5-40899428bfaa A Video Message from Dr. Mandel! Los Angeles Southern California

f82c31c4-f7f2-4cb9-a8fc-39aa48da1b00 A Video Message from Dr. Mandel! Los Angeles Southern California

11 Important Goals You Should Reach For This Summer
Many of you set new year resolutions back in December/January. Summer marks the middle of the calendar year and is a great time to set new goals! Click here to read 11 summer goals you can reach for this summer.

a5aa3db3-6884-4ac4-884b-8834ad5efc38 A Video Message from Dr. Mandel! Los Angeles Southern California

Montreal boy develops video game to teach kids about mental health after father’s death
a5dfa3c5-d453-4e16-a471-214aa2903c26 A Video Message from Dr. Mandel! Los Angeles Southern California

“An 11-year-old Montreal boy has developed a video game aimed at reducing stigma and educating his peers about mental health…Jumping over gray blocks that represent depression, users are presented with different facts and figures about mental health, including messages like “depression is a disease; it is not a person’s fault.” Read More.

Follow Us on Instagram

Follow our Instagram page and join the conversation. We post lots of personal content, new original photos, videos, and plenty of ketamine/healthcare news! Visit us here! Hope you had a happy 4th of July!

unnamed A Video Message from Dr. Mandel! Los Angeles Southern California

Who May Need Ketamine Treatments the Most? Veterans

Military Veterans may benefit the most from Ketamine Infusion Therapy

shutterstock_199599794 Who May Need Ketamine Treatments the Most? Veterans Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaAccording to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for PTSD, between 10-20% of veterans who completed their military service during America’s most recent conflicts—Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom—suffer from PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Unfortunately, for many of these veterans, this serious mood disorder is both disabling and difficult to treat. For instance, one recent study noted that for military veterans, PTSD is highly correlated with problematic social and familial relationships, difficulty maintaining active employment, and “lower income, educational, and occupational success.” Moreover, a vast majority of veterans with PTSD also suffer from at least one other mood disorder and are more likely to suffer from conduct disorder and/or substance abuse (especially males). [1]

Traditional PTSD treatment for veterans usually involves cognitive behavioral therapy coupled with antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). For some individuals, this powerful combination does provide effective results. For many others, however, traditional antidepressants like SSRIs do not work. In fact, there are a variety of reasons why reliance on SSRIs may not be appropriate or effective for military veterans. For instance, for some individuals, they do not offer the needed relief from symptoms. For others, they may have serious side effects that are just as problematic and debilitating as the original disease.

For individuals for whom SSRIs might be an effective treatment option, this traditional treatment plan can take several weeks for SSRIs to “kick in” and address symptoms. Moreover, because not every SSRI works for every individual, it can take months to test out a variety of different options in order to find the one that “works.” While no one should have to wait for relief from a serious mood disorder, this delay can be especially problematic—even dangerous—for veterans who may be suffering suicidal thoughts or ideation as a result of their PTSD.

VA Approves Nasal Spray Esketamine as a Treatment for PTSD in Veterans

For many years now, private medical practices around the country have been offering an innovative treatment option for veterans with PTSD: IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy. When offered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes traditional cognitive behavior therapy, ketamine may offer both rapid and effective relief from PTSD symptoms. This is an especially important option for individuals whose PTSD has resisted treatment through SSRIs and antidepressants and for military veterans who are at high risk of suicide.

As the name implies, IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy involves a series of infusions in which low doses of ketamine are delivered directly into the bloodstream. The infusions are performed in a controlled clinical setting, in which the exact dose of ketamine can be rapidly and precisely adjusted as each patient responds to the treatment. For many patients, the infusions deliver nearly-immediate relief from depression, anxiety, negative thinking, and most critically, suicidal ideation. When given as a series of treatments over several weeks or months, the results are often cumulative and effective as a long-term treatment option.

With the recent FDA approval of a ketamine derivative—esketamine  AKA Spravato —the VA has begun to re-think its acceptance of ketamine as a potential treatment option for military veterans with PTSD. The VA announced earlier this year that SPRAVATO™, which delivers Spravato as a nasal spray, will be available to many veterans who receive medical care directly through the VA. Although, Ketamine Infusion Therapy does have a higher success rate, this is still a huge step ahead for the VA and must be applauded.

For military veterans who choose not to rely 100% on treatment through the VA, private clinics such as Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles can help. Dr. Steven L. Mandel, President and founder of Ketamine Clinics of LA, recognizes the valuable service that members of our military have provided to our country, and believes that every service member deserves to enjoy a healthy, happy civilian life. Therefore, as thanks for your service, Ketamine Clinics of LA is happy to offer a 10% discount to all veterans and active duty military, as well as active and retired law enforcement professionals, for whom Ketamine Infusion Therapy may be an appropriate and necessary treatment option.

[1] Liriano, Felix; Hatten, Candace; Schwartz, Thomas. Ketamine as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder: a review. Drugs in Context, 2019; 8: 212305. Published online 2019 Apr 8.

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

Ketamine Infusion Therapy: an Alternative Innovative Treatment for OCD

Treatment for OCD

Ketamine-Infusion-Therapy-an-Alternative-Innovative-Treatment-for-OCD-300x200 Ketamine Infusion Therapy: an Alternative Innovative Treatment for OCD Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaAll too often on TV or social media, the visible rituals associated with OCD are the stuff of jokes and mockery. Yet for individuals suffering from this debilitating mood disorder, it’s no joke. What may start as a simple coping mechanism for a specific trigger—a fear of getting sick leading to frequent cleaning, for example—can eventually take over an individual’s life to the point where they are unable to participate in or enjoy normal activities. As with all mental health problems, OCD is not something that the individual can simply rationalize away. It starts deep within the brain’s chemistry and usually requires medical intervention and a long-term, comprehensive treatment plan.

The key to successfully intervening in and treating OCD requires lifting the anxiety and panic at the root of OCD rituals and breaking the cycle of negative thinking and compulsive thought processes. An innovative treatment option—Ketamine Infusion Therapy—may offer a safe and effective alternative to many of the traditional pharmaceutical approaches utilized by psychiatrists and medical professionals. For many patients, Ketamine Infusion Therapy works quickly to reduce panic and depression while dramatically improving the patient’s mood, thus opening up a window of opportunity for the positive effects of talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or exposure therapy to “kick in”.

Understanding OCD

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental health concern in which an individual relies heavily on rituals, compulsions, and/or superstitions to cope with uncontrollable irrational thoughts, anxieties, or fears. With OCD, the brain is hypersensitive to certain triggers, launching a dramatic overreaction when exposed to those triggers, which in turn leads to extreme panic and anxiety. Simultaneously, the part of the brain responsible for signaling safety is slow and sluggish, so the brain is unable to counter the hypersensitivity. The result is intrusive and relentless irrational thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

In order to cope with and eliminate this negative cycle of thoughts, feelings, and sensations, the individual with OCD develops rituals or compulsions that artificially reduce the feelings of anxiety and induce the feeling of safety that the brain cannot do on its own. Unfortunately, over time, the rituals, compulsions and superstitions must become more elaborate, elongated, or involved to induce the same level of calm (similar to drug tolerance). Thus, what may start as a minor repetitive action—frequent washing of hands, counting, or praying, for instance—can become so extensive and invasive that they interfere with the individual’s ability to engage in everyday activities.

What Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Involve for Patients with OCD?

Most patients with OCD start with a series of four to six ketamine treatments, followed by routine maintenance treatments. The exact schedule of treatments is unique for each patient, and depends on how each patient responds to the treatment over both the short and long term. Each treatment involves slowly delivering a low dose of ketamine directly into the bloodstream through an IV. At Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, we utilize specialized digital infusion pumps, which can be programmed with the exact dosage each patient requires, and can be titrated up or down depending on as well as monitored and altered quickly as necessary depending on the patient’s response. Every treatment is performed in the comfort of our AAAASF-certified clinic, and overseen by our skilled and caring staff to ensure both the safety and comfort of each and every patient.

At Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, we believe that a successful treatment plan for OCD requires focusing not only on each individual treatment, but on two additional elements as well:

  • Long term monitoring: Dr. Steven L. Mandel has developed a unique assessment methodology called Mood Monitor, a HIPPA-compliant encrypted assessment service via text messaging. Mood Monitor enables regular and routine communication and assessment with each client based on the PHQ-9 depression assessment tool. This tool enables Dr. Mandel and his team to tailor both the individual ketamine treatments and the overall treatment plan to help each patient achieve successful results.
  • A team approach: treating OCD and other mental health issues usually requires a team of medical specialists working together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan with multiple techniques. Ketamine Infusion Therapy can be highly effective when coupled with individual therapy and participation in support groups. With your permission, we will work closely with all of your medical specialists to ensure that our treatment complements and supports your comprehensive treatment plan.

Treating OCD is not, unfortunately, something that can be done in a day and it’s not something that can be done alone. Yet it can be done! If you or someone you love is suffering from OCD, we encourage you to contact us today to obtain more information about our alternative and innovative OCD treatment, Ketamine Infusion Therapy.


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


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Celebrate June – Exciting News from Harvard!


Hello, June! We have reached the mid-year mark and summer is upon us. It truly is the season of celebration. Many of you are, or know someone who is, graduating, getting married, participating in a Pride event, or officially going on a dream vacation. It’s finally the beginning of summer; the days are longer and the nights are warmer and more inviting. Despite the ailments that may hold us back from enjoying this mid-year transition, I invite you all to find ways to celebrate this summer.

At Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles (KCLA), we have numerous reasons to be excited and celebrate this month. We have three special birthday’s; two of our administrative ladies whom you may know from our front desk, Jada: Executive Assistant and Amanda: Patient Care Coordinator, and from our medical team, Shonda: Medical Assistant. These women have what it takes to get the job done! It is our company culture to make sure these special moments are celebrated. My team is always giving to our patients and it’s important that we give to one another too and take a moment to recognize one another. I wish them nothing but joy and prosperity in the year to come and can’t thank them enough for their contribution to this team.

Another meaningful celebration is the two-year work anniversary of our wonderful nurse, Denisse! Many of you have heard of her amazing experience with Ketamine Infusion Therapy and the benefit she received; there are not enough adjectives to describe what we have all witnessed on her journey. Denisse has blossomed over the years. When she started with us, she was suffering silently. She would wake up feeling suicidal, depressed and full of anxiety. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and struggled since she was a child. She moved slowly and cautiously at work, saving all her energy for our team and our patients. She was worried daily about making a mistake. The day she asked me if she could receive treatment was a real turning point in all of our lives. She completed her series of six infusions, has scheduled boosters quarterly, and now over a year later, is still doing remarkably well. Giving someone a job is nice, but giving someone relief from depression with Ketamine Infusion Therapy feels so wonderful it’s indescribable. Now this is a reason to celebrate! Happy two year workversary, Denisse, we appreciate you! Read Denisse’s story

Lastly, I’d like to give a shout-out to all the Fathers. Being a Dad is the title I’m most proud of. My children are in my heart every minute of every day. I feel lucky to work alongside my son Sam, my COO, and I’m so glad I get to celebrate Father’s Day with my family.

Wishing you a fun-filled and memorable June.


Dr. Mandel


Denisse, we can’t thank you enough for your hard work and dedication to this clinic. Your pride in this work, compassion for our patients, and willingness to help with the team in all areas is truly remarkable. You are more than an employee, you are part of our Ketamine Clinics LA family. Happy two year!

unnamed Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California


Thank you, Jada, Amanda, and Shonda for making our days brighter and offering hope and guidance to our patients. We appreciate all you do and wish you a terrific birthday and a fabulous year to come!

We spent the morning celebrating at the park. We fit in some fun/silly team pictures!

unnamed-1 Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California

unnamed-2 Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California

unnamed Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California

Ketamine for major depression: New tool, new questions

“Ketamine was once used mainly as an anesthetic on battlefields and in operating rooms. Now this medication is gaining ground as a promising treatment for some cases of major depression, which is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In the US, recent estimates show 16 million adults had an episode of major depression in the course of a year. Suicide rates rose substantially between 1999 and 2016, increasing by more than 30% in 25 states. Because of its rapid action, ketamine could have a role to play in helping to prevent suicide.” Read more

In light of Fathers Day I feel it is important to address what signs to look for in our children. Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders are often a passed down family trait. – Dr. Mandel

unnamed-3 Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California

Children Won’t Say They Have Anxiety, They Say ‘My Stomach Hurts!’
“Recent statistics have shown us that at least 1 out of every 8 children develops an anxiety disorder. If left untreated, the initial anxiety disorder can transpire into difficulty maintaining and developing connections with their peers, severe sleep disturbance, and substance dependency.” Read More

unnamed-1 Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California5-STAR REVIEWS

As employees at Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles, we know how amazing IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy is, we witness success stories every day. For future patients on the fence about treatment, let me remind you that it is truly the heartfelt words in these reviews that help encourage those considering this treatment to make the tough decision to move forward. This month, I want to thank Brandon and his wife, Carla, for sharing a great experience with us in their review from over a year ago, as well as recently updating their review to share even more appreciation. Many thanks for recognizing our staff for their continued kindness, and for giving us a shout-out on how beautiful our new facility is; we are glad you enjoy it as much as we do.

If you would like to leave kudos for us, or read the experiences of others, view our Yelp page now. – Dr. Mandel

Follow Us on Instagram

Follow our Instagram page and join the conversation. We post lots of personal content, new original photos, videos, and plenty of ketamine/healthcare news; visit us here!

Wishing all Dad’s a fabulous Father’s Day!

unnamed-2 Celebrate June - Exciting News from Harvard! Los Angeles Southern California

Ketamine Clinics of LA: Postpartum Depression signs and treatment

What is Postpartum Depression?

th-anh-789902-unsplash-221x300 Ketamine Clinics of LA: Postpartum Depression signs and treatment Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaThe first few days, weeks, and even months after childbirth can be a joyous time for new mothers and new families; it can also be extremely challenging, exhausting, and even stressful: coping with sleep deprivation and an infant who needs constant attention, learning the ins and outs of parenting, and balancing care for a newborn, care for other family members, and self-care as well. Many new mothers find themselves overwhelmed, depressed, and moody, especially as the body copes with yet more hormonal changes after childbirth. In fact, it’s pretty normal for all new mothers to have the so-called “baby blues”.

For most new mothers, the “baby blues” occur within a week or two of childbirth and then reside as the body’s hormones return to normal and life with a newborn becomes more routine (or as “routine” as it can be with a growing family). Postpartum depression (PPD) is not the same as the “baby blues”, and medical professionals now believe that up to 20% of new mothers may suffer from this serious medical condition (according to the Centers for Disease Control). PPD is a serious form of depression that manifests with symptoms that more closely resemble other mood disorders and will not simply “go away” on its own after a few weeks.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:

  • Feelings of being overwhelmed or trapped
  • Inability to cope with everyday tasks
  • Feelings of sadness, irritability, “moodiness”, and anger that persist for most of the day, for many days together
  • Worry, anxiety, and panic attacks
  • Significant bouts of crying
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Lack of appetite
  • Persistent fatigue and exhaustion
  • Feelings of rejection and/or guilt
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Lack of interest in the infant or overwhelming anxiety about the baby’s health

If you or someone you love is suffering from one or more of these symptoms, it’s so important to talk about it! Unfortunately, the symptoms of PTSD themselves augment feelings of shame and inadequacy, making it easy for a new mother to blame herself for “not getting over it” and making it extremely difficult to discuss openly. For many mothers suffering from PPD, professional intervention and medical treatment may be required.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy: An Innovative and Effective Treatment Option for PPD

For new mothers suffering from the “baby blues”, taking the time to focus on your “lifestyle” can help counter the mood swings of the first weeks of motherhood. Focusing on getting plenty of rest and healthy meals, asking for and accepting help from friends and family, taking time during the day for self-care, and getting outside for a brisk walk are all excellent pieces of advice. Unfortunately, for women suffering from postpartum depression, offering “helpful” suggestions about lifestyle changes only places the onus for “curing” their PPD back onto the mother’s shoulders. As with other types of depression, postpartum depression is a serious medical condition that requires medical intervention.

Successful intervention is possible and can be highly effective. The standard treatments for postpartum depression are two-fold. First, talk therapy can be extremely effective, whether through a support group, individual counseling, and/or cognitive behavioral therapy (or some mix of the three). Second, some women may benefit from antidepressants known as SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Lexapro to name just a few. Unfortunately, for women suffering from PPD, these types of antidepressants can have several drawbacks.

SSRIs often require several weeks before they “kick in”, which may simply be too long if PPD is interfering with a mother’s ability to care for her family. It can also take time to find the right SSRI; every individual reacts differently to each type of medication, and finding the one that works for you may require some trial and error, which takes even more time. Finally, and perhaps most critically, SSRIs can be transmitted through breastmilk to the infant, so they may not be appropriate for nursing mothers.

An innovative new treatment option in the form of Ketamine Infusion Therapy may offer a better solution for new mothers with PPD. Ketamine therapy involves extremely low dosages of ketamine delivered slowly into the bloodstream through an IV. Ketamine is extremely safe—in fact, it is still used as an anesthetic for children in some surgical situations—and does not pass through breastmilk. Moreover, it has the benefit of being fast-acting; most patients who try Ketamine Infusion Therapy experience a rapid improvement in depressive symptoms quickly.

Postpartum depression is a serious medical issue that, in most cases, requires the intervention of a medical professional. If you suspect that you, or someone you love, is suffering from more than just the “baby blues”, we encourage you to seek help immediately. Effective treatments such as Ketamine Infusion Therapy can offer lasting and effective relief.

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


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Ketamine Clinics of LA: How to tell if someone has PTSD and treatment options

How to Recognize if Someone You Love Suffers from PTSD

Ketamine-Clinics-of-LA-How-to-tell-if-someone-has-PTSD-and-treatment-options-300x200 Ketamine Clinics of LA: How to tell if someone has PTSD and treatment options Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaToday, we tend to think of PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as an issue for combat veterans returning from military deployment. In fact, PTSD can happen to anyone who has been involved in any type of traumatic event, including, but not limited to,  traffic accidents, natural disasters, sexual or other assault, or any other terrifying, dangerous, or tragic event. Most people who experience trauma do not develop the type of emotional reaction that leads to PTSD, but for those who do, PTSD can be a serious, debilitating, and even life-threatening medical condition that requires immediate, professional intervention.

Cognitively, psychologists categorize the symptoms of PTSD into four general groups:

  • Reminders or triggers: emotional reactions linked to specific memories, flashbacks, reminders, or nightmares of the traumatic event.
  • Withdrawal or avoidance: loss of interest in normal activities and social interactions in order to avoid potential triggers.
  • Negative thinking and/or mood swings: may include persistent feelings of guilt, fear, shame, anxiety, depression, and/or anger.
  • Hyper-arousal: the need to be “on guard” at all times, potentially manifesting as irritability, reckless behavior, trouble concentrating, and/or difficulty sleeping.

Yet, while these broad groupings are useful from a clinical perspective, they are perhaps less helpful when trying to identify whether a family member or friend may be suffering from PTSD. What specific signs or symptoms should you look for? In general, eight of the most common indicators of PTSD are:

  1. Uncontrollable thoughts or memories of the event, or uncontrolled reliving of the trauma
  2. Intense fear or feeling that one cannot now or ever again be safe, even if no danger is present
  3. Chronic anxiety coupled with a need to be “on guard” and unable to unwind or relax
  4. Persistent feelings of depression and/or hopelessness
  5. Inability to connect emotionally with loved ones
  6. Difficulty sleeping, including problems falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or persistent nightmares
  7. Irritability and frequent episodes of uncontrollable outbursts of anger
  8. Suicidal ideation or thoughts of suicide, either active (making a specific plan of action) or passive (such as thoughts like “you would be better off without me around”)

Individuals with PTSD may also begin to demonstrate specific behavioral changes relating to and stemming from the symptoms listed above, such as:

  • Difficulty maintaining personal relationships due to increased interpersonal conflict, issues with trust and intimacy, and withdrawal from normal familial/social relationships
  • Decrease in self-esteem, potentially coupled with a reduction in self-care, an increase in self-harming behaviors, and/or suicidal ideation
  • Compromised work performance or decline in an ability to perform normal tasks and activities
  • Avoidance of people, activities, and/or hobbies that used to be enjoyable
  • Inappropriate and/or ineffective coping mechanisms such as an increase in alcohol or drug use

Of course, not all PTSD sufferers demonstrate all of these symptoms; the ways in which PTSD manifest vary greatly from individual to individual. However, if someone you love has been through a traumatic event and you are seeing even just one of these symptoms begin to undermine their emotional health and ability to function, it is important that you encourage them to seek medical help immediately.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy and Other Treatment Options for PTSD

The traditional treatment for PTSD is a combination of talk therapy and, if necessary, a class of medications known as antidepressants. At Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, we offer an alternative approach: Ketamine Infusion Therapy. This alternative therapy, especially when coupled with traditional talk therapy, may offer some patients coping with PTSD a safe and effective medical alternative to antidepressants. More critically, Ketamine Infusion Therapy may prove an especially important option for patients who:

  • Have treatment-resistant PTSD and have not found relief from currentlyavailable antidepressants; and/or
  • Are coping with suicidal ideation and do not have the luxury of the time needed to wait for antidepressants to take effect.

Because Ketamine Infusion Therapy works differently on the brain’s chemistry than antidepressants, it can take effect more quickly; many patients find that their negative thoughts decrease, and their mood elevates also immediately after treatment, without the negative side effects associated with antidepressants. In fact, research studies and anecdotal evidence alike are beginning to demonstrate that ketamine has, for many patients, an immediate anti-depressive impact, delivering rapid relief that can quickly break through the cycle of PTSD, anxiety, depression, negative thought patterns, and suicidal ideation.


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

An Alternative—and Innovative—Treatment for Chronic Pain: Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Ketamine Clinics of LA: Alternative innovative chronic pain treatment

aaron-blanco-tejedor-768029-unsplash-300x199 An Alternative—and Innovative—Treatment for Chronic Pain: Ketamine Infusion Therapy Los Angeles Southern CaliforniaWe all experience pain at times in our lives: maybe the occasional headache or aching muscles due to too much physical activity, or acute pain due to an accident or serious injury. In most of these cases, an over-the-counter pain reliever is all that is needed, or for more serious acute pain, a trip to the doctor can help us identify the cause of the pain and treat it accordingly. Chronic pain, however, is different. Generally defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks, in reality chronic pain is persistent and limiting. It can limit an individual’s ability to move easily and reduce strength, flexibility, and stamina. At worst, it can make it nearly impossible to carry out simple, daily tasks and participate in enjoyable activities with friends and family.

Chronic pain stems from several a number of different causes, some of which are easily identifiable while others fight an easy medical diagnosis. For instance, chronic pain can begin with an acute injury that is not treated or not treated properly, or one that resists treatment; chronic back pain often falls into this category. Chronic pain may also be a symptom of any one of a large number of illnesses or “conditions” such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or lupus, for instance. It may be the result of a long-term illness, as in the case of refractory pain due to cancer. Finally, and most unfortunately for some individuals, their chronic pain may not have a clearly identifiable cause.

Since the early 1990s, the medical community has relied primarily on opioid-based pain medication for individuals suffering from chronic pain (if the source of the pain itself cannot be identified and/or treated). This class of drugs, including codeine, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and morphine to name a few, has the benefit of being highly effective in treating pain for most, although not for all, patients. However, opioids have also several serious drawbacks, the two most critical of which are opioid tolerance and of course addiction.

As the medical community continues to search for effective treatment options for individuals suffering from chronic pain—options without the serious drawbacks of opioids, especially for individuals already coping with tolerance and/or addiction due to past use of opioids—an “old” solution is presenting itself again as an alternative, and highly innovative, treatment: Ketamine Infusion Therapy. Ketamine has been available as an FDA-approved anesthetic since the 1970s and, when administered in sub-anesthetic doses, has been shown to be highly effective in fighting neuropathic chronic pain.

How Ketamine Infusion Therapy Works Against Chronic Pain

Although the mechanisms by which ketamine works with the brain’s chemistry to fight pain are still not entirely clear, researchers currently believe that ketamine modulates and reduces pain by impacting the effectiveness of a chemical reactor known as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA); as an NMDA antagonist, ketamine may actually calm the nerves within the central nervous system, increasing the threshold required to send pain signals to the brain and thereby reducing the level of pain perceived by the brain. Moreover, by impacting the brain’s chemistry differently than opioid-based pain medications, ketamine appears to work, for many patients, without the long-term risk of either tolerance or addiction. Thus, there are very real indications that Ketamine Infusion Therapy could present a highly effective—and extremely safe—alternative for patients suffering from chronic pain. Ketamine infusions also resets the pain receptors in the brain.

For patients coping with chronic pain, Ketamine Infusion Therapy generally involves a series of low dose ketamine infusions administered by the highly skilled and qualified staff at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art clinic accredited by AAAASF. Dr. Steven L. Mandel utilizes specialized digital infusion pumps that deliver individually-tailored dosages that can be quickly changed to meet the needs of each patient. Each treatment plan and individual infusion is specifically tailored to meet the individual needs of every patient, depending on their specific diagnosis, other medical treatments, and overall health.

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


Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

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Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles
6801 Park Terrace, Suite 525
Los Angeles, CA 90045
P: 310-270-0625
F: 310-730-5993
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