FAQS

Ketamine Facts

Absolutely. Ketamine has been used safely for decades in emergency rooms, operating rooms, and in the military around the world. At Tri-Cities, we have extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of ketamine and know how to carefully administer it. The dose is low and given as a slow infusion so you remain awake. As we are expert anesthesia providers, you can trust that you are in good hands. We vigilantly monitor your infusions and know how to manage the extreme rare event of a complication. When administered by a highly trained anesthesia provider, ketamine therapy is a safe and effective treatment for mood disorders and chronic pain.

Ketamine is approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic and analgesic in the setting of operating rooms and emergency departments. Outpatient ketamine treatment for depression, along with PTSD, anxiety, OCD, postpartum depression, and bipolar disorder are not approved by the FDA. When it is used in this way, it is considered an “off-label” use of the medicine.

Ketamine therapy has shown to be effective for people suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, and drug and alcohol withdrawal.
A meta-analysis of multiple research studies has demonstrated that 70% or more of treatment resistant patients will experience significant symptom relief after receiving the initial round of six low-dose infusions. This is a drastic improvement compared to the 40% success rate of traditional antidepressant medications. However, even with such a high success rate, it is important to note that ketamine therapy does not work for everyone.
Ketamine has been shown to be extremely effective in providing relief of chronic nerve pain. It is a potent analgesic but has a different mechanism of action compared to opioids. Ketamine therapy can help patients to significantly decrease their opioid requirements, while some patients will no longer require opioids at all.
Yes, we have seen great results using ketamine therapy for all of these conditions. However, just as with treatment for depression, we can not guarantee that it will work for everyone.

While the majority of patients will experience notable symptom relief after their first infusion, others may experience a more gradual improvement. This is a dramatic difference compared to the typical 6-8 week onset of most oral antidepressant medications. Our pain patients usually have symptom relief after their first infusion series.

Most patients who receive treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and migraines typically start with 6 infusions over two weeks. Then booster infusions are given anywhere from 6-12 weeks later or as needed. Patients receiving treatments for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, or other neurogenic pain disorders typically receive 4-6 infusions over a 4-7 day period. Then booster infusions are administered as needed.

Every patient is unique. The duration of relief between infusions varies from person to person. Some patients will have relief for 1-2 months while others have longer lasting relief of 3-6 months. They are available as you feel they are needed. This is why ongoing mood monitoring is so important.

Ketamine infusions are extremely well tolerated. It is possible, though uncommon, to experience dizziness or mild nausea. We have IV anti-nausea medications that we can give you if you need them at any time. Hallucinations are a frequent concern, however, with the low doses used, it is extremely rare.

Take all of your regular medications the day of your infusion with the EXCEPTION of benzodiazepines. If you are a diabetic we will give you further instructions at your consultation.

If you prefer to bring someone, they are welcome, but you do not need anyone to accompany you. If you do bring someone, they are welcome to wait in the waiting room or join you in the infusion room. However, even if you arrive alone, you will still require a ride home and will not be able to drive a car for the rest of the day.

Each 1-hour infusion is $350. Each 2-hour infusion is $500. We are working hard to reduce the cost of overhead to provide affordable options for our patients. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards and there is a zero percent financing option available through Advance Care. See the link under Financing Options.

We provide financing options through Advanced Care Card. It is a medical treatment financing company that provides 0% interest for 14 months for medical treatments. For details please visit their website at https://advancecarecard.com/or call them directly at 1-800-432-9470.

Your phone consultation with the provider typically lasts about 20-45 minutes. We use this time to answer all your questions and concerns, determine if you are an appropriate candidate for ketamine therapy, and formulate a treatment plan for you. Your first ketamine infusion visit will last around 1.5 hours- 2 hours for mental health and 5 hours for pain infusions. Subsequent visits are usually around 90 minutes for mental health infusions. Ketamine infusions last 40 minutes for mental health and 4 hours for pain. You will need to recover from the treatment prior to leaving our office. That includes drinking some water and eating a snack to ensure that you are safe to leave with minimal complications. We do not rush any of our patients. You will remain in our care until it is safe to go home.

Ketamine works in an entirely different way compared to common antidepressant medications. It inhibits NMDA receptors in your brain and leads to increased neuronal activity and the formation of new neuronal connections. This is also why results are seen so much faster with ketamine therapy. Traditional antidepressants take a long time to start working as it takes time for new neurons to form. Ketamine, on the other hand, works by increasing communication between existing neurons.

Though ketamine has been abused when used recreationally, there is no evidence that ketamine is addictive. When given in a clinical environment with controlled administration and dosing, the risk of abuse is exceedingly low.

Possibly. It depends on what your employer tests. If you are a current patient of ours and require a drug test, we will gladly provide records of your infusions, upon your request.

Spravato is the patented nasal form of ketamine with 48% bioavailability. IV ketamine Infusions have 100% bioavailability. At our office we do not offer Spravato due to less favorable outcomes. We understand that insurance covers the medication itself many times with prior authorization, but they do not cover the monitoring fees. Because of that, the cost difference is no different to the patient. So we choose to have a better outcome for our patients with the same out of pocket expense.

For your safety, do not eat any solid foods for at least 6 hours prior to your treatment. However, you can have clear liquids (water, tea, coffee, juice, etc) up to 2 hours prior to your treatment.

No, it is not safe to drive on the day of treatment. You will need a ride home planned out beforehand by either family, a friend. We do not allow our patients to have rides home from ride sharing services.

We recommend getting your treatments on a day when you are not working. You can resume normal function the following day.

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Our office focuses on being welcoming, relaxing, and comfortable for our patients. Our infusion rooms are in a private setting. Each has a comfortable recliner for your comfort.

If you are ready to take back control of your life and start living again, contact Tri-Cities Infusion And Wellness Clinic and schedule your consultation now.