Ketamine for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic and disabling condition that arises after exposure to a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.  It is characterized by persistent re-experiencing (flashbacks, nightmares), avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms (severe anxiety) that can be extremely disruptive.  The prevalence is approximately 7.8% in the general population.1  

Because ketamine is associated with psychotomimetic effects, there was initial concern that it may increase the incidence of PTSD when used intraoperatively.  Contrary to expectations, a study showed that U.S. service members receiving perioperative ketamine were found to have a lower prevalence of PTSD than those receiving no ketamine during their surgeries.2

Subsequently, when low dose ketamine infusions were administered to patients with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, there was a rapid reduction in core PTSD symptoms that frequently lasted from 24 hours to 2 weeks.1  Additionally, it was noted that ketamine for posttraumatic stress disorder was well tolerated without significant persistent dissociative symptoms.

Because of the overlap in symptoms with other mood disorder, we follow the same 2 week protocol to treat chronic PTSD.  While these treatments can be revolutionary, we recognize that they represent only one part of the multi-modal therapy for psychiatric disorders.  For optimal results, we will integrate care with your psychiatrist and/or primary care provider to promote the best possible results.

Please contact us if you wish to become a client of

Awakenings Infusion Center of North Carolina

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  1. Feder A, Parides M, et al. Efficacy of Intravenous Ketamine for Treatment of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 June; 71(6): 681-8.
  2. McGhee L, Maani C, et al. The Correlation Between Ketamine and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Burned Service Members. J Trauma. 2008 Feb; 64(2 Suppl): S195-8.