Frequently Asked Questions
Ketamine is a very old medicine with NEW possibilities! Ketamine has primarily been utilized as an anesthetic medication; but in the last couple of decades, research has revealed that Ketamine as being highly efficient in managing treatment-resistant depression, major anxiety, bipolar disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) , Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) , and chronic pain. Ketamine works by binding to different receptors in the brain to stimulate regrowth and connections between brain cells that help govern one’s mood. For patients coping with chronic pain, lengthier infusions have been shown to “reset” nerves and reduce neuropathic pain.
A patient’s “mind set and surroundings” are two of the most important aspects of a having a good ketamine infusion experience. Having an open mind to the experience and staying clear of any negative triggers before your appointment, will help you have the most ideal outcome. Good examples would include avoiding any confrontational interactions with loved ones, viewing the news, With that said, 99% of our patients have communicated feeling anxious before their initial infusion; this is totally normal!
Plan on eating something light at least two hours prior to your ketamine infusion.
We recommend you to go straight home after your first infusion. After you have had a several treatments, you’ll have a much better idea of how the medication makes you feel. It’s ordinary to feel a little inebriated, tipsy or nauseated directly after your infusion. You may even feel exhausted and fatigued for the remainder of the day. Many individuals have the capacity to go back to work 1-2 hours after their infusion, but we encourage you to take the remainder of the day off after your first appointment to see how you feel.
No opertaing a motor behicle for 12 hours after each ketamine infusion. We require all patients to sign a waiver acknowledging that they will not drive for 12 hours following their treatment. Ketamine is a controlled substance and for your safety physically and legally, we take this very seriously. You do not have to be accompanied by anyone; Uber, public transportation or walking are all okay.
A total of 6 Ketamine infusions are advised within a 14-day period. That will maximize the ketamine effect on new dendrite and synapse growth. Thereafter, patients are put on a maintenance program where they return when they feel it essential for a single infusion booster (usually once a month). During the routine maintenance period, the duration of relief following the initial infusions and the first booster, and between subsequent single booster infusions differs between patients. The average duration of relief between booster infusions is 3 to 4 weeks. There is no way to foresee what your needs will be.
We strongly recommend everyone does a minimum of 5 infusions before stopping treatment. If you do not feel any effects after 5 infusions, we deem you a non-responder. This happens 15-20% of the time.
Mood infusions run for 45 minutes. We recommend patients plan for 75 minutes in the office to allow time for IV placement and relaxing after the infusion is complete before leaving our office. Infusions for our pain patients run for 3 hours.
One of the main effects of Ketamine is dissociation. Dissociation is a temporary state of consciousness where a person feels ‘detached’ from the physical world. It has been described as a dream-like state with a floating calm sensation. Some patients report visions of colors and shapes. This out-of-body experience is why it is sometimes categorized as a psychedelic. Each person’s experience of dissociation is very different and can vary from infusion to infusion.
Most medications are very safe with Ketamine. Some medications can decrease the effectiveness of the infusions; these include Lamotrigine, Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan).
Ketamine is a very safe medication overall. Patients with a history of uncontrolled high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease or neurological disorders may require a letter of clearance from their primary care physician.
Ketamine itself has not demonstrated to have addictive properties. As a matter of fact, there is research to suggest that Ketamine may possibly be an effective treatment for beating addiction. If you have a history of substance abuse, it does not exclude you from receiving Ketamine infusions. It’s crucial to disclose this to the doctor so they can develop the right treatment plan for you.
Since Ketamine is only approved for anesthesia, insurance will not cover treatment for mood disorders or chronic pain. We will bill your insurance for your initial consultation, but all treatments (infusion appointments) will be self-pay with payment due at the time of service.