Modern Therapy for Depression, Mood Disorders, and Chronic Pain
"You can't change the beginning, but you can start where you are andChange the Ending."
- C.S. Lewis
For more than 50 years, ketamine has been safely administered to induce anesthesia on the battlefield, in emergency rooms, and in surgical settings. In recent years, ketamine has been used off-label to successfully treat depression, mood disorders, and chronic pain.
"About 80% of people who were prescribed ketamine showed relief from depressive symptoms. The benefits discovered placed ketamine in the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines, which encourages its use far and wide."
Does insurance cover ketamine infusions?
What's the age range for ketamine patients?
Can I continue taking my regular prescription?
Generally, you should continue taking the medications prescribed by your medical provider and consult with them about the addition of ketamine to your regimen. It is important to know that Lamictal (Lamotrigine) blocks the therapeutic effects of ketamine. Obtain advice and authorization from your prescriber to cease taking Lamictal for at least 2 weeks before initiating ketamine treatment. Narcotics and benzodiazepines may blunt the effectiveness of ketamine. (Benzodiazepines include Valium, Versed, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, and Lorazepam.)
Will I need to be on ketamine forever?
Why is ketamine called a "miracle drug"?
Yale Medicine reports ketamine being one of the biggest breakthroughs in depression research. Ketamine is referred to a miracle drug because of how quickly it works.
What are common side effects to ketamine treatments?
Most patients will experience feelings of dissociation and a little dizziness. Some may feel nausea, sleepiness, headaches, or weakness. These symptoms usually are mild and generally are resolved within a few hours of the infusion.
How long should I refrain from alcohol before a ketamine infusion?
What does a ketamine infusion feel like?
When treatment begins, patients enter a dream-like state and may have some time perception distortion and disassociation, but they don’t fall asleep. Many patients will report feeling relaxed within a few minutes. We have a special “relax” treatment room, where patients will settle into a soft leather recliner and begin their infusion therapy.
How often will I need a ketamine infusion?
Does the clinic offer evening appointments?
We answer our phones from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. We generally schedule infusion appointments between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., but will work with you to accommodate your work schedule.
What are the advantages of ketamine infusion therapy versus intramuscular injections or esketamine nasal spray?
Is ketamine FDA-aprroved?
Ketamine is a drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in anesthesia. It has been used off-label for depression, mood disorder, and pain treatment successfully for more than a decade. Off-label prescribing means that you are given a drug that the FDA has approved to treat a condition different from your condition. This practice is legal and common--one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use.
Is the treatment for pain different from the treatment for mood disorders?
Infusion therapy for treatment of chronic pain employs a larger dose of ketamine and includes NMDA blockers, creating a synergistic effect. Pain treatments are usually an hour and a half, while mood disorder treatments are one hour.
How does infusion therapy for pain work?
If you have found opioids to be ineffective, desire to decrease dependence on opioids, or are seeking alternative treatment, you are encouraged to try IV infusion pain treatment. Studies show that certain pain syndromes that are modulated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors may respond to a regimen of NMDA blockers—we currently treat pain with a formula of ketamine, lidocaine, and magnesium sulfate. The analgesic effects of this regimen can last up to 12 weeks. The liver metabolite norketamine may partially account for the desired long-term effects, as well as the desensitization of hyperalgesia associated with chronic pain.
Is ketamine treatment appropriate for all types of chronic pain?
Not everyone is a candidate for chronic pain therapy, including patients with poorly controlled cardiovascular disease, severe liver disease, substance abuse problems, elevated intracranial pressure, and glaucoma. Please see your treating doctor or nurse practitioner to obtain a referral for chronic pain treatment.