Ketamine is a medication that has been used since the 70’s as an anesthetic for surgery and dental procedures. Since the 1990’s, a number of studies from esteemed American institutions have shown that Ketamine has a remarkable effect on depression and anxiety. This effect occurs due to the inhibitory effect that ketamine has on the Glutamate pathway, a totally different mechanism of action than the other typical anti-depression/anxiety medications.
The original studies have used Ketamine as a slow intravenous infusion over forty minutes. This is how we use it at the Brain Mind Institute. Other methods include intranasal and intramuscular. The FDA has recently approved S-Ketamine for the treatment of depression as a single intranasal application. Data so far suggest that the slow intravenous infusion has a superior effect compared to the other methods of administration.
After your initial medical evaluation, you will be scheduled for your infusions. The infusion takes about 40 minutes. Expect to spend about one and a half hours with us counting the pre-infusion set up, infusion and post-infusion/recovery period. The recommended dosage based on the original studies suggests six infusion over two to three weeks period of time. This is what we offer. Ultimately, you will decide if you want to do the full series of six infusions or a lesser number of them.
We have had patients responding to Ketamine as soon as after their first infusion. Others may require three or more infusions.
This is highly variable and it depends on each individual patient. The effects can last from weeks to months. Commonly, patients require a booster infusion at some point. You will be the first one to know when the effects start to dissipate. You will have the option to schedule more infusions in the future when indicated.
All insurance plans are different and while there is no guarantee that your particular provider will reimburse you for any or all your treatments, it is worth it to submit our bill to your insurance for reimbursement consideration. It might take some convincing to do, but you might get some or all your treatment cost back. You might also consult your Health Care FSA provider regarding the option of using FSA funds for the treatment. Here at the Brain Mind Institute we accept cash and credit cards. We can also help you apply for Care Credit.
We charge $599 per infusion. If you sign up for six infusions, we give you the sixth one for free, which brings the total cost of each infusion down to $499.
We do offer a 20% discount to our armed forces, police and fire department personnel. Government issued ID is required for confirmation. Thank you for your service.
We recommend an initial series of six infusions, which is the protocol shown in studies to be effective. Having said that, you may decide to receive less than the six initial infusions. As mentioned above, patients tend to require booster infusions over time. You will be the first one to know when the time has come for another infusion.
During the infusion you will have a general sense of relaxation and most likely will have a mild dissociative experience, where you could see lights, flowers butterflies etc. The “tripping” experience is mild, and usually changes with every infusion. Do not be worried about dissociating as it is a very good predictor of responding to the treatment. This is a consequence of neurogenesis, where new connections between neurons are being created. A few minutes after the infusion you will return to your normal state. We recommend that you take it easy the rest of the day. We do not allow you to drive after the infusion.
Ketamine is generally very well tolerated. Some side effects may include nausea and vomiting, transient elevation or reduction in blood pressure and pulse, double vision, increased salivation, hallucinations and cystitis. Ketamine has been used as a recreational drug (Special K). The administration of Ketamine in patients with a history of substance abuse or addictive personality should be done with caution.