Ketamine Infusion Therapy – Why Route of Administration Matters

Ketamine Infusions for Anxiety, Depression & other Mood Conditions: Does the Route of Administration Matter?

Intravenous ketamine infusions are an effective way to treat individuals who are suffering from a variety of depression-related issues. Common conditions that are treatable include:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety

While there are other administrations available, intravenous infusions are absorbed more easily by the body in comparison to other routes. Plus, an IV administration allows a much more accurate dosage based on body weight. Overall, the precision and effectiveness of IV administration makes it the top choice of most professionals.

The effectiveness of how ketamine impacts the body centers largely on how it is administered. Bioavailability refers to the portion of the drug that circulates the body once it enters it. Check out the bioavailability of three of the main options for administration.

IV Administration 100% Ketamine Bioavailability

The only way to ensure that an individual’s body is getting an exact dose of ketamine is to administer it through an IV. This is the most controlled method that ensures that the patient’s body is getting the specific dose that their condition requires.  Ketamine used as a general anesthetic is designed to be given in this method so it only makes sense that it would work well being administered through an IV for infusion therapy. This process takes out the guesswork and can get proper dosage down to the milligram based on the patient’s weight and height.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Intramuscular Administration ~93% Ketamine Bioavailability

Some doctors offer intramuscular administration. The issue here is that this method often leads to uneven absorption which could cause prolonged side effects. This could make it virtually impossible for a doctor to identify if ketamine infusion therapy is even effective on their patient.

Intranasal Administration ~45% Ketamine Bioavailability

Another method that is sometimes used is intranasal administration. That is, a mist is shot up through the nasal passage. The issue with this method is that it has to overcome a number of barriers before it reaches the body’s bloodstream. The chance of the mist being evenly administered through the nasal passage is incredibly unlikely. However, even if that was accomplished, patients could possibly sneeze it out, or the ketamine could run into a mucus barrier in the nasal cavity before it even has the opportunity to enter the bloodstream. There are a number of variables that could impact the effectiveness of the dose.


IV administration is the most efficient way for the body to receive ketamine infusion therapy. Not only can the dosage be better controlled, but the body will have 100% access to the dose at the most precise rate. Individuals who are considering ketamine therapy should ask their doctor which method they use for administration. Keep in mind; the answer could severely influence the outcome of your treatment.

If you would like more information about the administration of ketamine infusion therapy, please contact Gateway Solutions for more information.


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