Ketamine Therapy - Frequently Asked Questions
Want to learn more about ketamine infusions and how they can benefit those with chronic pain, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about ketamine therapy.
- Yes! Ketamine has been used for nearly 50 years and studied for even longer. However, there are risks associated with any medication. Some of the more common risks may include nausea/vomiting, increase in blood pressure, increase in heart rate and visual disturbances (hallucinations, dissociation).
- While ketamine has held FDA approval since 1969, it currently does not have FDA approval for depression. However, the FDA recently approved a nasal spray version of ketamine, Spravato (esketamine), for use in treatment-resistant depression.
- A majority of patients receive 6 infusions over a 2-week period and subsequently require booster infusions every 4-6 weeks. Each patient is different, and we will work together to help develop a treatment plan that works for you.
- For patients struggling with mood disorders, each infusion is approximately 45 minutes. It takes a few minutes to get the IV started and a few minutes to wake up after the infusion is over. Expect each infusion appointment to take between 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Most patients do not notice an improvement until their 3rd or 4th infusion. But there are some who notice an improvement right away and those who do not see any improvement until after their 6th infusion. Each patient is different. For those suffering with chronic pain, patients seem to note an improvement after their 2nd or 3rd infusion with lasting relief.
- Most patients dissociate during the infusion and have an “out of body” experience. We believe that this is integral to the treatment, as it allows you to process any deep-seated thoughts/emotions/traumas. Most patients describe this as a pleasant experience. There may be various lights and colors that you see and feel. If the experience is unpleasant, you can stop it at any time. You are monitored through the whole treatment, and we can intervene at any time if necessary.
- We recommend you speak to your psychiatrist or mental health provider regarding any psychotropic medications. Benzodiazepines and lamotrigine can interfere with the dissociative experience, and we will discuss our recommendations during your first visit.
- We accept insurance for the consultation. The cost of an infusion for mood disorders is $450, and pain relief treatment is $650 per infusion.