Is Oral Ketamine a Good Alternative to Ketamine Infusions?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 21 million adults in the US have had at least one major depressive episode. For most people battling depression, taking antidepressants never gives them relief. According to current research, the reason for this is that antidepressants designed to treat depression aim at the wrong target.

Rather than hop from one drug to another trying to find the right antidepressant medication, why not try complete ketamine solutions in Phoenix? It’s important to note that while therapy sessions and traditional antidepressants work, they shouldn’t certainly be your only solution.

Ketamine has proved to be groundbreaking in treating post-traumatic stress, debilitating anxiety, depression, and sometimes chronic pain. But with all the treatment methods, how do you determine if oral ketamine is a good alternative to ketamine infusions? Let’s find out!

Methods of Administering Ketamine

Here’s a quick overview of the different methods for ketamine administration.

Sublingual Tablets

Ketamine tablets are compounded tablets that are absorbed into your bloodstream/brain sublingually. The dosage for these tablets tends to vary depending on the clinician’s order and compounding pharmacy. Using tablets allows clinicians greater flexibility in treatment, as they can adjust the dosage based on the client’s medication response.

One key benefit of using sublingual tablets is that they offer patients an identical delivery mechanism as an IM/IV without the risk of introducing harmful bacteria into their bloodstream. Another benefit of these tablets is that there is a limit to the amount of ketamine you can take. This ceiling limit makes it impossible for people to take a larger dosage than necessary.

IV and IM  Infusions

Ketamine IV infusions are typically infused into a vein with a bag that drips the ketamine substance directly into your bloodstream. On the other hand, IM infusions are injected directly into your arm with a needle, just like a flu shot.

You can only get IV and IM infusions in a doctor’s office. Also, an IV infusion lasts for at least 40 minutes, and the doctor is always available on-site for the entire procedure. While the doctor doesn’t have to be physically present in the room, they are always available if a patient becomes confused, or anxious or when they require anything. For infusions, patients have to receive at least a series of six infusions for at least two to three weeks.

Nasal Spray

Another common way to administer ketamine is through a nasal spray. These nasal sprays contain a synthesized mist that is stored in a spray bottle. But just like the sublingual tablets, the doctor has to outline the timeline for use by the patient.

So, how do you determine if nasal spray and sublingual tablets are excellent alternatives to ketamine infusions? Here are several factors that will help you choose the right ketamine treatment.

The Biological Effects

Each ketamine treatment method has neurobiological benefits and effects. One major advantage of ketamine treatment is that it improves your general mood by increasing the brain-derived neurotrophic factor and bolstering neutrons that have been worn down by your body’s physiological response to depression and anxiety.

The effect, however, for ketamine treatment is a dose dependency regardless of your subjective experience with each medication.

The Subjective Effects

There are several subjective effects people experience from the use of ketamine. These effects include the dilation of space or time, a disconnection from emotions or thoughts, and out-of-body experiences. Each of these experiences varies for each individual and the type of treatment. For instance, if you choose IV infusions, you may experience dissociation from the start of the drip, and it may take a while to wear off even after the drip ends.

For oral ketamine, these effects may only occur if you may have taken a higher dosage than what your doctor recommends. The subjective effects of ketamine treatment are important to consider when choosing a ketamine treatment mode.


Another way you can determine if oral ketamine is a good alternative to ketamine infusions is by considering the overall cost of each treatment.

  • Infusions can range from $400 to $1000 and are often sold as a 4 to 6-session pack.
  • Nasal sprays cost from $4000 to $5000 based on the different recommended dosages
  • Tablets can cost between $500 to $1500 monthly, depending on your clinician’s dosage.

While oral ketamine is a good alternative to ketamine infusions, they still don’t provide the calming and therapeutic effects ketamine infusions do. So, before you choose a treatment method over another, it would be best to consult your clinician.