Ketamine

Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been around for many years. At Axis Spine we use this medication in low doses to decrease the firing of overactive neurons.  Research studies show improvement in a high percentage of patients who are treated with this medication.  Currently Ketamine is recommended for Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD).  TRD is defined as the patient having tried and failed 2-3 types of oral anti-depressant medications.

A series of IV infusions is used to alleviate symptoms of depression, chronic pain and other mood disorders.

  • Depression: 6 treatments over 3 weeks
  • Migraines: 1 treatment
  • Chronic pain conditions usually require multiple visits several days in a row.   This is determined case by case.

Booster treatments are required periodically. This is typically every 3-6 months.

Your initial consultation will be billed to your insurance.

 

What is Ketamine?

Used commonly as an anesthetic, It has been found to remarkably and rapidly improve the symptoms of depression, chronic pain and other types of mental pain.  Ketamine works by shutting down overactive neurons, improving the health of your existing neurons and improving the connectivity in your brain.

How do I know if Ketamine is right for me?

We can discuss this with you at your consult. For our patients with depression, we do require you to be under the care of a licensed professional.

Do you accept my insurance?

No. Insurance companies do not cover Ketamine infusions at this time.

What is the cost of treatment?

For Depression Migraine, the cost of each infusion is $600. The number of infusions will differ depending on the patient’s condition and response to initial treatment. 

CRPS and other types of chronic pain require longer infusions. The cost for these are $1,500 and the number of treatments will be decided during your consult with the physician.

How many treatments will I need?

Treatment Resistant Depression is treated with 6 treatments over three weeks.  PTSD and migraines are typically treated with one to two treatments.  As noted above, chronic pain infusions are several hours long for several days in a row. A series of 6 infusions may last anywhere from weeks to months, and often a single booster infusion when effects are wearing off can restore response.

Do I need a referral for treatment?

No. We would like you to bring any type of documentation that you have from your Primary Care, Pain Specialist or Psychiatrist concerning your diagnosis and past treatment. For patients with depression, we will require acknowledgement from your licensed provider who is treating your depression.

What should I bring the day of my consultation?

A full and accurate medication and allergy list, and any diagnostic/treatment information from prior physicians.

Do I need to stop any of my medications?

No. You should continue to take all your medications as scheduled, including your medications for pain and depression.

Can I eat or drink before I come in?

Please do not have anything to eat six hours prior to your infusion appointment or anything to drink two hours prior to your appointment.

What should I expect on the day of the infusion?

The doctor will start an IV and place you on monitors. We will help you get comfortable and then begin the infusion.  During your infusion you will have your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level and breathing monitored.  Typically the infusion lasts one hour, and we monitor you for 15 to 30 minutes after the infusion.

What are the possible side effects to ketamine?

Any side effects experienced as a result of Ketamine infusions will go away within an hour of treatment. The most commonly reported side effects include mild nausea, drowsiness, and a temporary increase in blood pressure. The nursing staff will closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate throughout the course of 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.

Can I drive myself home?

No. Your thinking may be impaired for 24 to 48 hours, and we require you to have someone to drive you home BEFORE starting the infusion.