Why Does Ketamine Increase Blood Pressure?

Why Does Ketamine Increase Blood Pressure?


At Novel Mind & Wellness Center, we specialize in innovative treatments for treatment-resistant mental health disorders and chronic pain syndromes. One of the treatments we offer is ketamine therapy, which has shown great promise in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain. However, it’s essential to understand some of the side effects, such as the increase in blood pressure, associated with ketamine.


Understanding Ketamine’s Effect on Blood Pressure


Sympathetic Activity and Cardiovascular Changes

Ketamine can cause mild to moderate, temporary increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output. These changes occur because ketamine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. When this system is activated, it can lead to increased heart activity and blood flow, resulting in elevated blood pressure.


Implications for Patients with Cardiac Conditions

For individuals with underlying heart conditions, the increase in blood pressure and heart rate could potentially lead to higher oxygen demand by the heart muscle, which may exacerbate their condition. Therefore, it’s crucial to use the lowest effective dose of ketamine and/or monitor closely to achieve the desired sedation while minimizing these cardiovascular effects.


Safety and Efficacy of Ketamine in Procedural Sedation

Despite these concerns, studies have shown that ketamine remains a safe option for procedural sedation. In a small study conducted at a single site, no significant evidence of heart-related issues (myocardial ischemia) was observed when ketamine was used for sedation. This indicates that, with appropriate monitoring and dosing, ketamine can be safely administered even in patients undergoing medical procedures.


Ketamine in Psychiatric Treatment

Monitoring and Managing Blood Pressure

Ketamine’s use has expanded beyond procedural sedation to treat various psychiatric conditions, such as treatment-resistant depression. Current guidelines for administering intravenous ketamine for depression include regular monitoring of blood pressure and managing any temporary increases in blood pressure that may occur during the infusion. These precautions are essential to ensure patient safety and should align with best practices in hypertension management.


Addressing Safety Concerns

Ketamine treatment does come with some known safety concerns, which include the potential for abuse and misuse, psychiatric side effects, respiratory depression (slowed breathing), and urinary tract issues. By adhering to established protocols and updating them based on best practice guidelines, healthcare providers can make ketamine treatment more accessible and safer for patients.


Ensuring Safe and Effective Treatment at Novel Mind & Wellness Center


At Novel Mind & Wellness Center in Tallahassee, FL, we are committed to providing safe and effective ketamine treatments for our patients. Our team of experienced professionals carefully monitors each patient’s response to ketamine infusions, including their blood pressure, to ensure the highest standards of care.

If you have any questions about ketamine therapy or would like to know more about how it could help with your condition, please contact us. We are here to provide you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions about your mental health and well-being.

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