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Ketamine treatment room at Theory & Method. Text reads Ketamine Therapy for OCD.
Ketamine treatment room at Theory & Method. Text reads Ketamine Therapy for OCD.

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Ketamine Treatment for OCD

Ketamine treatment therapy is proving to be fast-acting with positive, long-lasting results for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Many using Ketamine to treat OCD report a loss of compulsion after just one session and improved symptoms for weeks after treatment. Ketamine is a synthetic drug that was first used as an anesthetic on the battlefield.

Years of medical advancements and research have been dedicated to studying Ketamine. The benefits of this revolutionary treatment have moved Ketamine from the battlefields to the front lines of mental health.

Learn more about Ketamine treatment therapy by calling Ketamine Therapy at Therapeutic Alternatives, the premier provider of this revolutionary treatment for OCD and other mental illnesses, located in Salt Lake City, UT. Call today at 385-685-1410 to learn more about what Ketamine treatment can do for you.

Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that causes people to have unwanted thoughts and worry about things.1 These can include:

OCD looks different for every patient, but they share the same core symptoms. If you have OCD, you may experience the following:

The exact cause of OCD isn’t known. But a combination of factors may play a role in the development and progression of symptoms, such as genetics and neurotransmitters in the brain.

Changes in the brain’s functioning can cause OCD. There are two parts of the brain involved in OCD: the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex regions.

When the basal ganglia are overactive, people experience repetitive thoughts and behaviors. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for decision-making. People with OCD may have trouble processing emotions and making sound decisions.2 Chemical imbalances, such as low serotonin levels, can contribute to OCD.

Fortunately, therapy and medication, such as ketamine infusion, can help manage OCD symptoms and improve quality of life.

How OCD Disrupts Daily Life

OCD symptoms can vary in severity and frequency. They often interfere with daily life activities, work, and relationships. Some people may spend hours each day performing rituals, while others experience occasional intrusive thoughts that cause mild distress. OCD can affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders. It can also co-occur with other mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

Living with OCD can be challenging and exhausting. The constant fear and uncertainty can lead to isolation and feelings of shame and low self-esteem. But with the right treatment, such as ketamine therapy, many OCD patients experience significant improvement. The treatment helps people manage their symptoms effectively.


In 2012, Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, Ph.D., was a researcher at Columbia University and ran a clinical trial to test Ketamine as a treatment for OCD. Jerry Rivas, a participant of that trial, opted in to find answers to the suffering he was experiencing due to OCD. Rivas said that with just one infusion, he was able to experience what life is like without the compulsions and obsessions he’d been subject to for years. Rivas said, “I felt like, for the first time, I was able to function like a regular person.”

Rodriquez is now an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University and continues to study Ketamine as a treatment for OCD. But, she says, “What most excites me about Ketamine is that it works differently than traditional antidepressants…Using Ketamine, we hope to understand the neurobiology that could lead to safe, fast-acting treatments. I feel that is part of my mission as a physician and researcher.”

In 2013 Rodriguez completed another clinical trial of Ketamine and OCD. Theories that Ketamine affects the levels of glutamate in the brain and that glutamate plays a role in OCD symptoms pushed Rodriguez and her colleagues to do this trial. They were hoping to discover better and faster treatments for OCD. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that essentially allows cells in the nervous system to communicate with each other. Glutamate is also essential in normal brain function. Patients given Ketamine in this trial reported dramatic decreases in OCD symptoms mid-way through infusion and even said that the decreases lasted through the following week.


Ketamine treatment for OCD is bringing hope to a demographic of patients who have very few treatment options. Some of the options available to treat OCD, like Prozac, take months to have any real effect if they have any effect at all. Those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder are often tormented with intrusive thoughts and habits that interfere with their lives, jobs, and relationships.


Ketamine therapy for OCD is safely administered by professionals and occurs in a controlled and supervised environment. During treatment, Ketamine is administered via infusion during a 40 – 60 minute session. A provider closely monitors your progression throughout the treatment time. Ketamine takes almost immediate effect, and patients may experience an altered mental state during this time. However, the respiratory system is unaffected, and patients maintain consciousness. Therefore, a series of 6 treatments is recommended for complete treatment.

Using Ketamine Treatment as a Long-Term OCD Medication

Since Ketamine for OCD is a novel treatment option, experts are researching and publishing new studies daily. Currently, there isn’t enough research to definitively say whether Ketamine is safe for long-term OCD treatment.

One concern with long-term Ketamine use is the potential for addiction and abuse. There are also potential side effects, such as changes in blood pressure and heart rate. These changes can be problematic with prolonged use.

When used under the supervision of a reputable provider like Ketamine Therapy at Therapeutic Alternatives, you can prevent these potential effects. Consult with one of our specialists to determine the best course of action for your unique OCD symptoms. We’ll discuss your medical history and create a personalized treatment plan for relief.

Ketamine Therapy for OCD vs Traditional OCD Medication

Ketamine therapy is a modern treatment option for OCD. It has shown promise in reducing symptoms in some patients. But other medications can treat OCD.

For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a common OCD medication. They work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which can reduce anxiety and obsessive thoughts.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are another medication that can treat OCD. They also work by affecting the levels of certain brain neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine and serotonin.

These two medications are more established. But those who have tried SSRIs and TCAs without success may turn to Ketamine for relief. While Ketamine therapy may not be appropriate for everyone, it can be a viable treatment option for treatment-resistant OCD.

The cost of Ketamine treatments for OCD or other mental illnesses varies per patient. Ketamine Therapy at Therapeutic Alternatives is committed to making Ketamine treatment therapy affordable and available to the Salt Lake City area. We currently offer the lowest rates.

We offer treatments on a self-pay basis, as Ketamine for OCD is not covered by health insurance. Scheduling a consultation is the best way to learn if Ketamine is right for you and what it costs. If you are determined to be a good candidate, our staff creates a personalized plan to meet your needs and budget.

Ketamine for OCD FAQs

The FDA first approved Ketamine in 1970. Ketamine is very popular as an anesthetic because it does not depress the respiratory system; a patient’s breathing is unaffected. Ketamine is often given in emergencies in hospital settings. In veterinary medicine, it is used as an animal tranquilizer. Since its first discovery many years ago, Ketamine has proven to be full of surprises. In 2019 Ketamine received ‘breakthrough’ clearance from the FDA for treatment of depression. Furthermore, research shows that Ketamine given at low doses improves many mental illnesses. Among depression, anxiety, and PTSD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is also one of the many mental illnesses Ketamine can treat.

Ketamine infusion OCD is a relatively new treatment that has shown promise in reducing symptoms in some patients. The exact way that it works to treat OCD isn’t fully understood yet. But, researchers believe that Ketamine may activate certain brain receptors that are involved in regulating anxiety and mood. By activating these receptors, ketamine may be able to reduce symptoms.3

Dr. John Krystal of Yale Medicine, a chief psychiatrist, and pioneer of Ketamine research, explained that “when you take Ketamine, it triggers reactions in your cortex that enable brain connections to regrow. So, it’s the reaction to Ketamine, not the presence of Ketamine in the body that constitutes its effects”.

Everyone’s body reacts to Ketamine differently. But in general, the treatment effects can last one to seven days after the infusion.4

Ketamine can be an excellent short-term treatment for managing OCD, but it isn’t a permanent cure. A study found that participants receiving Ketamine experienced a “significant rapid reduction in obsessions”.5 Depending on your symptoms, you may need a series of treatments to get optimal relief.


Ketamine Therapy at Therapeutic Alternatives takes detailed measures to create an environment that feels safe and comfortable. Our Ketamine therapy rooms are designed to be relaxing, making you feel at home instantly. We believe your treatment setting should inspire a sense of security with surroundings that enable healing. Our providers are board-certified nurse practitioners and mental health professionals trained in emotion-focused Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy.


Learn more about this innovative healing of Ketamine for OCD by contacting us today. Schedule a free consultation by calling Ketamine Therapy SLC at Therapeutic Alternatives at 385-685-1410 or by filling out the form below. Our mental health clinic is devoted to bringing this new treatment to patients looking for healing that they cannot find elsewhere. Contact us today and discover how you can change your life with Ketamine treatments.

Schedule a Ketamine
Treatment Consultation

Schedule an appointment via call or text at (385) 685-1410 or fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/email/text


1. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Published in MayoClinic. Link.
2. OCD and Its Effect on the Brain. Published in HealthMatch. Link.
3. Ketamine in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Systematic Review. Published in Harvard Review of Psychiatry. Link.
4. Rapid Resolution of Obsessions After an Infusion of Intravenous Ketamine in a Patient with Treatment-Resistant Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Case Report. Published in National Library of Medicine. Link.
5. Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial of Ketamine in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Proof-of-Concept. Published in National Library of Medicine. Link.


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Schedule a Ketamine
Treatment Consultation

Schedule an appointment via call or text at
(385) 685-1410
or fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/email/text

Accredited by The Ketamine Training Center in 2021.

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