Dr Alexander Lim
History of working with Trauma, MDD, PTSD
Care & Integrity
ReviveMed infusion therapy is a relatively new breakthrough in depression treatment, and you will need a doctor who thoroughly understands the procedure, practices with care and integrity, and has a long track record of successful outcomes.
Unique and Specialised Care
Every patient is unique and deserves special care. Whether determining dose, infusion duration, the number of initial infusions or the interval between return visits, we make individual assessments and structure treatments to match each patient’s response and unique needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
HOW LIKELY IS IT THAT IT WILL WORK FOR MY SEVERE DEPRESSION?
The patients we see are all considered treatment-resistant. That is, they have not responded to any available antidepressant medications and in many cases have not responded to ECT or TMS. While we cannot predict with certainty who will respond, our data suggests 70%-75% of patients who have not been helped by any other treatment do show a dramatic improvement in their mood, and 3 out of 4 patients who present with suicidal ideation cease to have such thoughts
IS THIS TREATMENT SUITABLE FOR ANY DEPRESSION PATIENT?
Not necessarily. Mild to moderate depression is often successfully treated by mental health professionals with antidepressant drugs and/or psychotherapy, which we encourage. The treatment of severe depression, major depressive disorder (MDD) treatment-resistant depression and other mood disorders is more difficult and requires a higher level of care, such as ECT, TMS. Infusion therapy is reserved for those patients with severe depression and anxiety that is considered treatment-resistant, or those with suicidal ideation.
DOES IT WORK FOR BI-POLAR DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, PTSD OR MOOD DISORDERS?
We’ve shown very good results for patients suffering from all of these conditions, though we cannot predict with certainly which patients will respond.
IS IT AN OUTPATIENT PROCEDURE?
No. All infusions are administered in a fully accredited hospital environment.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL FROM A PSYCHIATRIST?
A direct referral from a psychiatrist is required. In limited circumstances, a referral from a GP may be accepted (DVA/Defence patients).
HOW LONG DOES AN INFUSION TAKE?
About an hour, with an additional half hour of quiet time before discharge.
HOW MANY INFUSIONS WILL I NEED? FOR HOW LONG WILL I FEEL BETTER?
Assuming you begin to feel better during the initial treatments, a total of six infusions is recommended within a twelve-day period, which will maximise the effect on new dendrite and synapse growth. Thereafter, patients are placed on a maintenance program and are asked to return when they feel it necessary for single infusion boosters. During the maintenance period, the duration of relief varies by patient. The average duration of relief between booster infusions is 4-6 weeks. There is no way to predict what your needs will be. Some patients find that as they go through this process, the time between boosters lengthens, prompting them to come in every other month, every 3 months, or even less frequently.
WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE?
Most patients experience a mild dissociation or inner reflective experience that is generally well tolerated and often quite enjoyable. If you find it unpleasant in any way, we can make adjustments to minimize or eliminate any unpleasant sensations. Within 15 minutes of ending the infusion, your thinking will be clear. There are no delayed “flashbacks.”
WILL I BE ASLEEP DURING THE TREATMENT?
No. The low dose you will receive does not cause any loss of consciousness
IS THE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
The treatment is essentially pain-free. Other than a small prick while starting the infusion line, you will feel no pain and may even enjoy the experience.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER THE INFUSION?
Your thinking may be a bit cloudy and your walk a bit unsteady for an hour or so after treatment. You may also find that you will be somewhat tired for several hours. Hopefully, there will be a noticeable improvement in your mood shortly after one or two infusions.
WILL I NEED TREATMENT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?
After the first year or so, many patients find the need for booster infusions decreases over time.
ARE THERE ANY MEDICATIONS THAT WILL INTERFERE WITH TREATMENT?
Yes. Benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, Xanax, and Ativan do interfere with our treatment program if used daily and at higher doses. Lamictal (lamotrigine) in doses above 150mg/day also can block efficacy. During your initial consultation the Psychiatrist will review your existing medication regimen in order to maximise our program’s effectiveness.
ARE THERE ANY MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT WILL EXCLUDE ME FROM TREATMENT?
Uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart failure need to be corrected in advance. Regardless, all patients will be closely monitored while undergoing treatment. We conduct detailed pre-tests to allow us to identify, and correct, any likely conditions which may impact on your suitability for Therapy.
WILL I HAVE TO STOP TAKING OTHER ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATION?
No. SSRIs and other antidepressant medications do not interfere with this mechanism of action.
SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT ADDICTION WITH INFUSION THERAPY?
Treatment has been used safely for surgical anesthesia and trauma management in hospitals and elsewhere for over five decades, has been included on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines list since 1985, and has few side effects. Although it is sometimes abused recreationally in high doses as a “club drug,” there is no evidence that infusions are addictive.
I’VE HEARD THAT INFUSTIONS CAN CAUSE HALLUCINATIONS. IS THAT TRUE?
Depression treatments require a very low dose, so hallucinations and any uncomfortable side effects that may come with much higher doses are extremely rare. Infusions few other side effects.
WILL SOMEONE NEED TO ACCOMPANY ME?
You do not need anyone to accompany you, though they are certainly welcome. You may also leave on your own following our evaluation, but we recommend that a friend, relative or caretaker accompany you home, if possible. We also recommend not driving until the following day.
CAN I EAT AND DRINK ON THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE?
You can eat, but you should not have any food within one hour of your appointment.