KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY FAQS
HOW DOES KETAMINE WORK?
Ketamine has been shown to stimulate neuron growth in the brain in as quickly as one hour. Many scientists studying Ketamine are focusing on the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays a key role in neural activation. Ketamine has also been found to be a strong anti-inflammatory, which is also being studied for its positive effects with pain management. While the studies of “how” continue, the life enhancing results are seen daily at Ketamine Clinics across the United States.
WHAT IS AN INFUSION?
An infusion is the administration of medication (Ketamine) which will be administered via IV ( an intravenous line) over a certain period of time. If it’s for depression syndromes each infusion can be anywhere from 40-60 minutes. For pain syndromes the infusion time is typically 2 hours.
ARE KETAMINE INFUSIONS LEGAL AND WHAT DOES RESEARCH STATE ABOUT THEM?
Ketamine infusion treatments are 100% legal and bound to strict clinical protocols and oversight. Ketamine infusions are a fairly recent therapy so we get that there are many existing preconceptions about Ketamine as a treatment option for treating conditions such as depression and chronic pain. The evidence based research and positive patient outcomes have shed positive light on Ketamine treatments and hope continues to ensue for those needing help for their conditions. Please visit our research tab to see the significant, impactful and reputable studies that have been completed on Ketamine Infusions.
WHAT DO KETAMINE INFUSION TREAT?
Ketamine has been proven to safely treat resistant depression including bipolar disorder, seasonal effective disorders, post-partum depression, OCD, Severe Anxiety, & PTSD. It has also been shown to have a rapid effect and impact on suicidal ideation. Ketamine also treats Chronic pain syndromes, and is particularly helpful in refractory Migraines, Fibromyalgia, CRPS, and neuropathic pain. It is NOT recommended for manic phases or psychotic syndromes such as schizophrenia.
HOW SOON WILL MY SYMPTOMS IMPROVE AFTER THE KETAMINE INFUSIONS?
Many patients can feel better during the treatment itself. Others notice a marked improvement in mood or pain levels within hours into the next day after the treatment. Still, some patients may not notice their full improvement until their 4th infusion. Patient’s will still have good, and bad days during or after the Ketamine Infusions- but overall improvement is usually seen following repeated infusion therapy.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO UNDERGO TREATMENT?
Length of treatment is individual to each patient. The 1st treatment can relieve your symptoms for a few days. But It is necessary to repeat the treatment to ensure a return to a healthy mood, or to relieve pain for an extended period. For chronic conditions, our process involves extending the period of remission, by slowly stretching out the time between Ketamine infusions, and using additional wellness techniques as an adjunct to treatments. This can differ from patient to patient. Multiple Infusions can provide relief anywhere from a few weeks to several months. While some patients will report lessening of some of the effects from the Ketamine (positive wise) after a length of time post infusions- they still report overall improvement in lifestyle and coping prior to treatments. There is not one, standard therapy for Ketamine Infusions. With ongoing research and evidence- protocols have been put into place for best practice. Research has shown that back to back infusions have been more effective than one single dose. This is known as the stabilization period. This period maximizes the dendrite & synapse growth connections in the brain. Some people will have maintenance or “booster” infusions after their stabilization period. Maintenance or “booster” infusions are determined case by case and by patient symptoms returning. Each patient is different and response to treatment varies. At Serenity Health, we get to know each patient individually and personalize your plan of care. Ketamine is a treatment and is not a cure. The success rate for depression is around 80%, and reduction in pain symptoms is around 50%.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS DURING THE INFUSION?
Side effects experienced as a result of Ketamine infusions usually go away within an hour of treatment. The most commonly reported side effects include mild nausea, drowsiness, and a temporary increase in blood pressure. If needed, IV medications can be given for unpleasant symptoms The clinical staff will closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate throughout the course of the infusion and after the infusion. Less common side effects include vivid dreams, mood swings, or agitation. If these types of side effects do occur, they are controlled by adjusting the dosage of Ketamine.
IS KETAMINE SAFE?
Ketamine is actually listed as an essential top 10 medication by the World Health Organization. It is used widely in anesthesia since the 1960’s- especially in pediatrics due to its safety with not reducing the respiratory drive or harming the gag reflex. While it is FDA approved for anesthesia, it is not FDA approved for pain or depression at this time. The anesthetic dosage is about 20 times the dosage used in low dose ketamine infusions- so the answer is yes- Ketamine has a very wide safety margin for treatment.
WILL MY INSURANCE COMPANY REIMBURSE THE COST?
Ketamine is not currently FDA approved for the treatment of depression syndromes or chronic pain, therefore, it is not covered by insurance. There are some insurances however, who will reimburse portions of the cost per infusion. Serenity Health has a Patient Care Advocate on site who can assist you in helping with insurance forms and obtaining reimbursement cost via insurance!
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO FOR MY FIRST CONSULTATION?
Online, you can fill out our health history Questionnaire. This will save time during your first visit. If you are unable to fill out the questionnaire online, please download, fill out, and bring with you to your consult visit. If referred, we will need a referral form from your provider. All new patients need to submit the following before their first consultation:
- Most recent lab work within the past 6 months (to review during your appointment) (CBC, CMP),
- Bring or fax any imaging related to your diagnosis (as to why you are being seen)
- Bring/fax health history/diagnosis list
- Bring or fax up to date medications/list.
Your physician may fax all this information as well.
IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT FOR KETAMINE INFUSIONS?
We treat patients age 16-17 with a specific referral and order from psychiatry for depressive syndromes. For all other cases- we treat patients age 18 and up. If any specific questions related to this, please call our office.
HOW MUCH DOES EACH INFUSION COST?
The cost of each infusion for depression, and chronic pain syndromes differ due to length of time, supplies and medication. The fees include the cost of medications, supplies, nursing staff, medical staff, equipment, ect. Payment plans are available here at Serenity Health for those needing assistance. Call 1-888-442-4325 for more information. To learn more pricing information of Ketamine treatment, click HERE.
DO I STOP TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS WITH KETAMINE INFUSIONS?
Never stop taking medications without prior authorization from the prescribing provider. There are some medications that interact with Ketamine. These will be discussed at your initial consultation and a thorough history and medication review, along with a full examination will be done. Here at Serenity Health- we strive to keep you safe & make sure everyone is appropriate for infusions. If you are found to be on any of these medications that interact with Ketamine infusions- we will coordinate care with your physician and discuss any potential changes that may need to be made.
IF I HAVE A PSYCHIATRIST, THERAPIST, PRIMARY CARE, OR SOMEONE THAT REFERRED ME, SUCH AS A PAIN MANAGEMENT PROVIDER, DO I STOP SEEING THEM ONCE I COME TO YOU?
No. You are under the care of Serenity Health and staff for the purposes of Ketamine Infusions. We do have a mental health specialist to assist with counseling and be of support to our patients as needed and to assist with screenings. This would not take the place of your outside psychiatrist or mental health providers. If you find that counseling is needed- we can work with you, as we recognize that psychological support is a MUST HAVE while undergoing this process regardless if it is dealing with depression syndromes or pain. Please also note, that we would not replacing your pain specialist, Here at Serenity Health- our goal is to work with your physicians and collaborate care.
IS THERE ANYONE THAT CANNOT RECEIVE KETAMINE INFUSIONS?
- People with uncontrolled blood pressure are at increased risk to make this condition worse if receiving Ketamine infusions, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
- So people with uncontrolled high blood pressure, should have this taken care of and be seen by their family doctor or cardiologist before being seen for Ketamine Infusions.
- People with unstable heart disease such as uncontrolled arrhythmia's, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease can be at increased risk while getting Ketamine, as it can make the heart work and pump harder. Having these conditions does not exclude one from treatment, regular follow ups with a family physician and cardiologist and consultation with them before treatment is always the best way to ensure treatment will be safe and effective.
- Uncontrolled Thyroid Disease can be exacerbated by Ketamine Infusions due to Elevated heart rate. People who have controlled thyroid disease DO NOT fall into this category.
- Glaucoma & Increased Intraocular Pressure: There is a small chance of increased intraocular pressure with Ketamine in the surgical dosage. The dose being given here is much smaller and the risk with this dosage and intraocular pressure is not well known or understood.
- Current Hallucinations or Schizophrenia: Ketamine can worsen active anxiety and hallucinations
- Active Drug and or Substance Abuse: Ketamine has been used to treat addiction, however, infusions are usually given once the patient has detoxed or is off of drugs the individual is addicted to. When a person is taking multiple drugs, the way their body may react may be unpredictable and potentially life threatening.
- Ketamine allergies: People who have had reactions to Ketamine in the past, would not be appropriate for treatment.