How does Ketamine work?
Ketamine is completely different from SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclic antidepressants, MOAI inhibitors, Benzodiazepines, or any other antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication. The exact mechanism that causes ketamine to relieve depression is quite complex. In short, stress, anxiety, depression, and pain cause damage and degeneration to certain cells within the brain called neurons. This damage shrinks the size of the neurons, therefore, decreasing communication between different parts of the brain. This damage can render the patient unable to heal without intervention. Ketamine is able to promote healing of damaged cells of the brain, resulting in repair of neurons and alleviation of symptoms within hours of treatment.
Are there any pre-existing conditions that make ketamine
dangerous or ineffective?
Uncontrolled/untreated high blood pressure, illegal substance abuse, untreated thyroid disease, unstable heart disease, mania, or active psychosis. These conditions and past medical history will be discussed with our physician/staff prior to treatment to ensure patient safety.
Are there any pre-existing conditions where I am not an eligible candidate?
We cannot treat you if you have a pre-existing condition including uncontrolled seizures, ICP (High intracranial pressure) and Psychosis.
Are there any risks to Ketamine treatments?
The dose of ketamine used during each treatment for depression and anxiety is minuscule (a tenth of the dose used for sedation in the emergency room) and safe. During the active infusion, there is a chance of a transient rise in blood pressure and heart rate, however vital signs are monitored before, during and after treatment to ensure patient safety.
What can I expect during my visit?
Your history and the medical records sent by your personal provider will be reviewed by GRC staff prior to your arrival for the first infusion. You will need to have arranged for transportation home after the infusion because driving is not recommended after treatment. The Ketamine will infuse slowly over 40 minutes (consistent with the NIH protocol). Some patients experience a light or floating feeling or a dreamlike state during treatment. Some experience nausea but nursing staff can easily treat this. You will rest quietly for about half an hour, with vital signs monitored, after the treatment is completed. You should expect to be at the clinic for about 90 minutes.
Can I eat and drink before my infusion?
Yes. You will be here for 90 minutes so eating something before arrival is recommended. Energy drinks and alcohol should be avoided.
Will I be awake and alert?
Yes. The ketamine treatment will not put you to sleep. If you arrive in a tired state or sleepy you may dose off for a short nap, but will arouse easily. You will be able to move freely in your room during the infusion.
What should I do during the treatment?
Patients are encouraged to relax or listen to soothing sounds during therapy. Conversing on your cell phone or watching any video content is not recommended.
How should I expect to feel after the treatment? How do I know if it worked?
Some patients have noticed positive effects in as little as 40 minutes after the initial infusion, however, most improvement starts 2-4 hours later, but can be up to 24 hours following treatment. When the treatment is finished you should not expect to feel as if everything is fixed but there should be a noticeable improvement in feeling more hopeful, lifting of the depression, less sad, increased desire to engage in activities and with people. More noticeable improvements are expected to be seen throughout the course of your treatment.
What is the usual course of treatment? How long will results last?
The NIH protocol bases a course of therapy on ten infusions administered over a month. Our experience has been that most patients do best with at least six infusions. Many feel better after the first one.
What is the cost of the infusions?
Our cost per Ketamine infusion is $400. We do offer a 15% discount when you purchase a package of 6-10 infusions. We also offer a 15 % discount to veterans and their families. If you are just receiving fluids, the charge is $75.
Will insurance cover?
No. Ketamine is not currently covered by insurance for the use of depression or pain management.
Since insurance doesn’t cover my infusions, is it tax deductible?
Yes, keep a copy of your invoices, mileage and hotel cost. All expenses can be claimed towards medical expenses on your taxes.
Can I still take my prescribed medications?
Ketamine does not have a lot of contraindications with other drugs. Your medications will be reviewed before treatment is started. Any changes to your current medications will be between you and your primary healthcare provider.
Do I need a referral to your practice?
Yes. We cannot schedule an appointment for Ketamine Treatment without a referral from either your PCP, Psychiatrist or Psychologist.
Can I drive myself from infusion?
You are required to have a driver to bring you home whether it be a friend, family member or public transport (Uber, taxi).
Do you offer late appointments or Saturdays?
Yes.By appointment only.
Do you offer financing?
We work with a company called Advance Care Card. They do financing for medical expenses. Depending on credit, Zero interest for up to 14 months. You can apply at: advancecarecard.com/apply-now/