Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Ketamine Therapy?

Research done at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) indicates that ketamine
infusion therapy can swiftly alleviate symptoms of depression. Some patients have reported
feeling better within just a few hours after receiving the treatment.

Are you considering ketamine therapy but wondering if it’s the right fit for you? While this
innovative treatment shows promise for various conditions, not everyone may be a suitable
candidate. Let’s examine the possible red flags for someone who should not be a part of this
innovative therapy for mental health and wellness.

Factors to Consider

1. History of Psychosis

When considering candidates for ketamine treatment, a crucial factor to examine is the individual’s history of psychosis. Psychosis refers to a mental state where a person loses touch with reality, experiencing hallucinations or delusions. Dr. Sanjay J. Mathew, a psychiatry professor at Baylor College of Medicine, suggests that ketamine might make symptoms worse for people with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. Patients with a history of psychosis may not be ideal candidates for ketamine treatment as it could potentially exacerbate their symptoms or lead to increased confusion and disorientation.

2. Severe Cardiovascular Disease

Individuals with severe cardiovascular disease should approach ketamine therapy with caution. The potential effects of ketamine on the heart can pose risks for those already dealing with heart conditions. Given that ketamine may temporarily elevate blood pressure and heart rate, it could exacerbate existing cardiovascular issues. Patients with a history of heart problems or high blood pressure must disclose this information to their healthcare provider before considering ketamine treatment.

The impact of ketamine on the cardiovascular system underscores the importance of thorough medical screening before initiating therapy. Healthcare professionals need to assess each patient’s unique health profile to determine if ketamine is a safe option. For individuals with severe cardiovascular disease, alternative treatment approaches may be more suitable to avoid potential complications during therapy sessions.

3. Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

Healthcare providers typically recommend avoiding any unnecessary medications or treatments during pregnancy to minimize risks to both the mother and child. While some studies suggest that low doses of ketamine may be safe for pregnant women, more research is needed to fully understand its implications.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should approach ketamine treatment with caution. The effects of ketamine on the developing fetus are not well understood, making it risky during pregnancy. Additionally, there is a concern about the transfer of ketamine into breast milk and its potential impact on the nursing infant.

4. Uncontrolled Hypertension

Research published in the journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice indicates that ketamine therapy might worsen substance abuse problems in people who have struggled with addiction in the past. Substance abuse is a critical factor to consider when determining if someone is a suitable candidate for ketamine therapy. Individuals with a history of substance abuse may not respond well to the treatment due to the potential for misuse or relapse. Additionally, combining ketamine with certain substances can have dangerous interactions and worsen existing addiction issues.

It’s essential for healthcare providers to thoroughly assess patients’ history of substance abuse before considering them for ketamine treatment. Open and honest communication about past drug use is crucial in making informed decisions about treatment options. Patients must be willing to disclose their substance abuse history and work closely with their medical team to ensure safe and effective care.

While ketamine treatment has shown promising results for various mental health conditions, individuals struggling with substance abuse may need alternative approaches tailored to their specific needs. Prioritizing sobriety and addressing underlying addiction issues should take precedence before exploring the potential benefits of ketamine treatment.

5. Uncontrolled Hypertension

High blood pressure can increase the risk of complications such as heart attacks or strokes, especially when undergoing therapies that can affect blood pressure levels. Ketamine’s ability to transiently raise blood pressure makes it crucial for individuals with uncontrolled hypertension to proceed with caution or seek alternative treatments.

Uncontrolled hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a significant factor to consider when evaluating candidates for ketamine treatment. Individuals with uncontrolled hypertension may not be suitable candidates due to the potential impact on their cardiovascular health during treatment.

Uncontrolled Hypertension


As we have explored who might not be suitable candidates for ketamine therapy, it is essential
to understand that individual circumstances vary. Factors such as a history of psychosis, severe
cardiovascular disease, being pregnant or breastfeeding, and uncontrolled hypertension are
crucial to consider before pursuing this treatment.

It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before starting any new therapy. Each person’s medical history and current health status play a significant role in determining the appropriateness of ketamine treatment.

Remember that your well-being is the top priority when considering any form of treatment. Being informed about potential risks and contraindications can help you make the best decision for your unique situation.


Ketamine therapy is for individuals under the age of 18 can be done under supervision and is
regularly used for pain management in emergency situations.

A standard ketamine infusion session lasts about 40 minutes, while nasal spray sessions may vary in duration.

Some potential side effects of ketamine therapy include dissociation, nausea, and changes in blood pressure or heart rate.

Many patients report feeling improvements in their symptoms within a few hours to days after starting treatment.

Insurance coverage for ketamine therapy varies and it’s best to check with your provider before beginning treatment.

After the initial series of six treatments, maintenance sessions are usually recommended every
few weeks to months depending on individual response.

You cannot not to drive following an infusion due to potential lingering effects of the medication.

Yes, certain medical conditions such as active psychosis, uncontrolled hypertension or severe
cardiovascular disease may make individuals unsuitable candidates for treatment.

In some cases, healthcare providers may recommend combining traditional medications with ketamine treatment for enhanced effectiveness.

 When seeking out a provider for Ketaminetherapy ensure they have proper medical credentials training and experience administering Ketaminetherapy.

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Edward Bates


Ed Bates has enjoyed a thriving career in the arts & entertainment industry as a producer, writer, director, film distributor and educator.

In 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bates started a medical company, The Safe Set. The Safe Set designed and operated contact tracing programs for Netflix and Buzzfeed, and ran production mitigation programs and testing strategies for many other entertainment companies, allowing scores of film industry professionals to safely return to work.

When Covid vaccines became available at the end of 2020, Bates immediately devoted The Safe Set to vaccinations: The Safe Set vaccinated thousands of school children and underserved adults in Los Angeles County. For months, Bates’ company vaccinated the students and their families in L.A. Unified School District, Santa Monica & Malibu School Districts, numerous independent schools and operated his own vaccination clinic in South Los Angeles.

Bates has been interested for many years in the growing proof that psychedelic medicines show significant success in treating mental illness when combined with therapy. During 2020, a friend of Bates’ had become deeply depressed and had not been helped by any other therapies and that he had slipped into a hopeless state of suicidality. Bates was profoundly relieved when one day his friend called with an entirely new outlook and attitude of positivity towards his life: his friend told him that a series of ketamine infusions, along with therapy, had led to this miraculous change. That day, Bates’ journey to understanding the power of psychedelics to help patients with mental illness began, along with his mission to bring this powerful treatment to patients in need.