Ketamine Lozenges: Here’s How They Work

Ketamine Lozenges: Here’s How They Work

In medicine, innovation isn’t always about inventing new compounds. Sometimes, it’s about finding new uses for existing substances, or exploring alternate modes of administration. One such path has led to the emergence of ketamine lozenges, a novel approach to using a substance that, until recently, was primarily known as an anesthetic. The clinical and scientific community has discovered that it could potentially be a breakthrough in the battle against depression and now many companies are prescribing these lozenges for at-home use.

How to Use Ketamine Lozenges or Troches

There are two primary kinds of at-home ketamine. One is known as a troche (pronounced TROH-key), which is ketamine suspended in a somewhat flavorful clear gel. The other is rapid dissolve tablets which are white and often come in a blister pack. 

Patients suck on the lozenge or troche until it dissolves. The ketamine will be absorbed by the cheeks and gums. 

People typically use ketamine lozenges at home. Sometimes people take them in their therapist’s office, with the therapist by their side. Patients wanting a hybrid of at-home comfort with supervision take the ketamine at home with a therapist or guide watching over them by video chat.

RELATED: Ketamine Telehealth – An Affordable Option, Legal Status & More

The Science of a Ketamine Lozenge

Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist. It temporarily blocks specific receptors in your brain, which leads to an uptick in glutamate. Glutamate is a key neurotransmitter.

This glutamate boost triggers a rise in Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF helps grow new neurons and strengthens existing ones, which is not just neat biology, but also critical for mental well-being.

When we’re wrestling with conditions like depression, our brain’s ability to adapt, also known as neuroplasticity, often gets stunted. It’s like you’re trying to navigate a constantly evolving city with an outdated map. BDNF can refresh your brain’s GPS, enhancing neuroplasticity and allowing for healthier, more adaptable thinking patterns. Your brain is undergoing changes that could potentially improve your mental health in the long haul.

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Ketamine Lozenges Dosage: Striking the Right Balance

Ketamine lozenges are typically 100-200mg. Doctors often prescribe in the range of 50-200mg, based on the individual’s needs and tolerance, although some doctors go as high as 1000mg. Striking the right balance is essential to achieving the desired effects without overdoing it.

RELATED: Ketamine Telehealth – An Affordable Option, Legal Status & More

Are Ketamine Lozenges Safe? Understanding the Risks

When used responsibly, ketamine lozenges are generally safe. But that doesn’t mean they’re without risks. For instance, operating machinery or driving a car while under the influence of ketamine can lead to accidents. Therefore, any tasks that require motor functions should be avoided until the effects have completely worn off. 

While long-term usage might lead to bladder issues, this typically only occurs when usage is exceedingly high and frequent, well beyond prescribed dosages. People can also develop a dependence on the drug. Ketamine lozenges are medicinal substances that should be handled with care and used responsibly.

RELATED: Do Dosages of Psychedelics Differ for Anxiety, Depression, Pain and PTSD?

How Long Do Ketamine Lozenges Last? 

A typical journey with a ketamine lozenge will come on in 15 minutes or so, last about 1-2 hours, followed by an additional 2-3 hours for the after-effects to wear off.

Choosing the Right Source

For those intrigued by the potential of ketamine lozenges and considering embarking on their own journey, it’s essential to find a reliable source, a trusted online provider that can cater to your needs. There are more than a half-dozen well-established telehealth ketamine companies. The best of these provide wraparound care. That means: a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner who interviews you about your needs and problems. Psychiatric and medical screenings to make sure you’re a suitable candidate for the treatment. A therapist or guide who will monitor you while you take the lozenge, either online, in their office, or in your home.

Read online reviews. Ask questions of the companies. Interview the doctors and the therapists before starting treatment. And we always strongly recommend having a guide by your side.

Interested in Ketamine Therapy? Find Ketamine Treatment Near You

Lozenges for Depression: A Ray of Hope

The prospect of using ketamine lozenges to treat depression has generated considerable excitement in the medical community. While research is ongoing, initial results suggest that ketamine could be highly effective in reducing symptoms of depression. For countless individuals who have grappled with this debilitating condition, ketamine lozenges represent a beacon of hope.

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A Personal Perspective

The effects aren’t uniform for everyone; like a fingerprint, each person’s experience is unique. My first voyages with ketamine lozenges were apricot-flavored gems from a specialty compounding factory, delivered directly to my digs. 

Getting ready for the experience was a journey itself. With a guidebook from my prescribing doc as my compass, I journaled my intentions. I prepped my room, then ensured a trusty friend–my roommate–was just a shout away. A stick of incense painted the air with aromatic whispers of tranquility. 

Then I performed a small ceremony. I have a medicine box which has a shell, birch bark, a heart stone, and an eagle feather. I checked in with the elements: water, fire, earth, and air. And I called on the love and support of all those connected to me and I asked for help finding my way towards more love.

RELATED: Study Finds Ketamine Telehealth Is A Safe And Effective Treatment For Anxiety And Depression

Ketamine Lozenges Can Feel Like Magic

My doctor told me to try 400mg. The lozenges rested under my tongue, gradually dissolving. It tasted a bit like apricot, but with a cheeky undercurrent of bitter chemicals–pure, unadulterated ketamine. It was a strange, fascinating cocktail that swished in my mouth for about 15 minutes.

As the minutes trickled by, I began to feel it. It was as if my body was gradually sinking into the deepest, most comfortable armchair. With headphones on and a blindfold shielding my eyes, I hit the play button on my soundtrack: Liquid Bloom’s Heart of the Shamans: Ceremonial Medicine Songs. A GREAT album for journeying; soooooo powerful. 

Bit by bit, I began feeling the ketamine work its magic. Subtle colorful visions began to waltz into my consciousness, growing bolder and more intricate as time wore on.  They’re totally different than DMT, LSD or psilocybin visions less fractal and vibrant, more mechanical and vast.  Before long, I was seeing shapes and mysterious mechanical-like objects. Not everyone gets a front-row seat to this visual spectacle with ketamine, but for me, the curtain rose and the show was on.

At the height of the experience, I was so far down the rabbit hole that I completely lost track of who I actually was: just a regular Joe who had taken a prescription. I felt like all the universe was One, that we are all part of something larger than ourselves. 

But as I started to regain my bearings, I found myself in this strange state that was both groggy and crystal clear.

Ketamine Lozenge Integration

Afterwards, I spent some time pouring my thoughts onto paper, trying to make sense of the profound shift in my perspective. The problems that used to seem larger than life suddenly seemed insignificant. In the days that followed, I felt this newfound peace enveloping me. It was as if my brain had undergone a deep clean, and suddenly, I found myself with a richer, more vibrant palette of emotions at my disposal. Personally, the effects had a somewhat limited duration but did teach me more about what was possible.

Ketamine Lozenges: A Happy Medium?

Ketamine lozenges offer a unique combination: a mildly psychedelic journey that can provide significant relief from the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. However, it’s essential to remember they are not a cure-all. As with any powerful tool, the key is to use them wisely, judiciously, and under proper guidance. As long as these conditions are met, the journey they facilitate could lead to profound insights and healing.

READ NEXT: How Do You Treat PTSD with Ketamine? Clinicians Weigh In

Graham Pilger

Graham Pilger

View all posts by Graham Pilger

Graham Pilger is a passionate expert in the field of psychedelic medicine, business, and research, with over 4 years of experience. His diverse background spans from collaborating with laboratories to develop plant-based medicines and psychedelic compounds, to participating in psychiatric research projects. In addition to his professional expertise, Graham is an avid home mycologist who has cultivated an extensive understanding of various mushroom-growing techniques. His hands-on experience ranges from beginner methods to advanced cultivation practices.

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