Ketamine – Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a candidate for Ketamine treatments?
Ketamine has been shown to help individuals with a variety of conditions including:
- Depression disorder
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Chronic Pain Syndrome
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Who is NOT a candidate for Ketamine treatments?
Individuals that suffer from:
- Active seizure disorders or other clinical conditions that predispose patients to seizure activity
- Cardiac rhythm disorder
- Significant cardiac disease
- History of drug or alcohol abuse
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Inability to tolerate the infusion in a reasonable timeframe (i.e. one (1) hour booking period)
- Hypersensitivity to Ketamine
How do Ketamine treatments work?
Ketamine succeeds in reducing pain by blocking specific receptors in the brain, forcing brain cells to communicate by using different chemicals and connections. It is not entirely clear how this process treats depression and other mental disorders. However, since Ketamine works differently than typical psychiatric medications, it often succeeds when other treatments have failed (Meisner, 2017). Unlike traditional medications, Ketamine does not cause drowsiness, insomnia, constipation, or weight gain. In addition, it works faster than most psychiatric medications (Black, 2019). In low doses, Ketamine can be given via injection or via nasal spray (Spravato). A treatment protocol includes six Ketamine treatments, given at six different appointments.
What happens during Ketamine treatments?
After an initial appointment to discuss infusions or intranasal applications and to confirm that you are eligible, you will be scheduled for your first procedure and given clear guidelines regarding food intake prior to procedure. On the day of your first treatment you will return to the clinic and receive Ketamine through an IV in your arm or via intranasal spray. Throughout the procedure, you will be kept in a safe environment, meticulously monitored by a physician. During the injection, you may feel lightheadedness or a “floating,” like feeling. Generally, changes in perception are most noticeable during and after the first treatment.
How long is a Ketamine treatment at Loop Medical Center?
The appointment will last about 1-2 hours.
What should I expect after the treatment?
You may feel an improvement in pain/psychiatric symptoms immediately after your first treatment! Individuals that experience some relief after 1-3 treatments are able to extend their results for longer periods of time with repeat infusions. People that have no response after 3 infusions likely will never have success with Ketamine infusions (Meisner, 2017).
Are there any side effects?
Like any medication, there are some side effects associated with Ketamine. When given by infusion, Ketamine may cause high blood pressure, nausea/vomiting, perceptual disturbances (time appearing to speed up or slow down; colors, textures, and noises that seem especially stimulating; blurry vision), and dissociation (Meisner, 2017). Nasal spray can cause the same side effects, however, the intensity and timing of the side effects may be different. About 10% of patients may experience more serious issues such as elevated heart rate, tremors, and increased pressure within the skull. Lastly, Ketamine has addictive properties. At such low doses, it is not a major concern but should be considered when treating individuals with a history of drug or alcohol abuse (Black, 2019).
How is Loop Medical Center different?
At our clinic, we do one treatment at a time, as long as the patient is benefitting from the infusions. The first 6 infusions are given within a specific timeframe and further infusions are provided as needed. If the benefit is not seen after any treatment, we do not continue. We do not force sales or push for this treatment, but offer it as a supplement for chronic pain and psychiatric disorders. We accept insurance and require no out-of-pocket payments from patients, outside of regular copays. We bill for the initial consultation and infusions are an out-of-pocket cost.
How much do Ketamine treatments cost at Loop Medical Center?
Standard office visit charges, nothing more. We accept insurance and require no out-of-pocket payments from patients, outside of regular copays. The cost per treatment reimbursed by your insurance company is approximately $450. We bill for the initial consultation and infusions are an out-of-pocket cost.