FAQs About Ketamine

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research shows that ketamine stimulates the growth and regrowth of neurons and connections in the brain. It is believed that ketamine affects glutamate, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in neuronal activation in the brain.

Is Ketamine Safe?

Although we are anesthesiologists, we administer ketamine at sub-anesthetic doses. This reduces the intolerance or side effects. At the low doses we use for therapeutic infusions, ketamine is usually well-tolerated. Our vigilant monitoring process at Advanced Wellness and Pain is designed to minimize these events.

The major risk factors we monitor for are uncontrolled hypertension, unstable heart disease, thyroid disease, history of epilepsy, substance abuse, mania, or psychosis. Typical side effects that occasionally occur include mild nausea, drowsiness, and increased blood pressure.

What Is The Success Rate For Ketamine Treatment?

The success rate of relief from symptoms after undergoing a series of ketamine infusions can be up to 72%.

Is Ketamine Treatment Covered By Insurance?

At this time, major insurance companies do not cover ketamine infusion.

What Is Involved In A Ketamine Infusion?

Patients will be constantly monitored during the duration of their infusions. A private room where the infusions take place will be offered so that patients can relax during their 40 minute (or longer) sessions. Heart rate, oxygen saturation percentages, and blood pressure will be watched closely by practitioners at the nursing stations. Periodically, a practitioner will enter the room to monitor the level of sedation and ensure comfort of the patient.

Patients can expect changes in vision and ability to focus on people or objects. Speech will potentially be slurred, slowed, and it isn’t uncommon to feel a floating sensation. Patients will also be required to have an alternative ride home other than driving him or herself after each infusion.

What Is The Process For Ketamine Treatment?

After a brief consultation by one of our physicians, often the same day, we will start a series of infusion sessions – this is called the “induction phase.” The length of each session depends on the problem that is being addressed. To achieve lasting results, the initial series of sessions comprises of six sessions.

Most patients report feeling significant improvement of their symptoms by the third infusion, and more than 70% by the fourth. There are even some patients who report feeling relief after only one infusion.

Once patients complete their initial infusions, they will begin a maintenance phase. It is important to remember that patients will work closely with doctors to ensure their infusion path is right for them along every step of the way.

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