Are there any medications I should avoid during ketamine treatment?
You can continue to take most medications during your ketamine treatment, with a couple of exceptions noted below.
The medical team recommends that you skip stimulant medications on the day of your session (prior to your session) to avoid mild agitation or blood pressure elevation since ketamine can also increase blood pressure. These can be resumed once you’ve returned to your baseline physical state. It’s ok to have a morning cup of coffee, but avoid caffeine in the hours leading up to your treatment.
The medical team also recommends that you skip benzodiazepines prior to your treatment if it’s safe for you to do so, since these medications can diminish your response to ketamine. Ketamine is a glutamate NMDA receptor antagonist (inhibits actions at the receptor), while benzodiazepines are GABA receptor agonists (increases actions at the receptor). Studies have shown that benzodiazepines may attenuate the antidepressant properties of ketamine in a dose-dependent fashion. In other words, the higher doses of benzodiazepines a person took, the less effective ketamine was at reducing depression. That said, there are very serious risks associated with abrupt discontinuation of benzodiazepines, so please discuss any thoughts of deviating from your usual treatment regimen with your clinician.