About Ketamine Therapy
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is a transformational psychotherapeutic process that can produce rapid improvement for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety, suicidality, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and drug addiction. Ketamine therapy is compatible with most other psychiatric medicines, and it can create powerful, sustained healing when all other traditional interventions fail. We support your process throughout with integrative sessions, email and phone contact. Our team collaborates with your psychiatrists and therapists when needed.
Ketamine is an anesthetic medications general used in surgery, however over the past half century, a compelling amount of evidence continues to grow and suggests that in sub-anesthetic (low) doses, ketamine infusions can restore the damaged brain pathways known to cause mood disorders. It has emerged as a promising off-label treatment option for many chronic diseases, such as treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fibromyalgia, and certain pain disorders. It is proposed that ketamine targets NMDA receptors in the brain, leading to the release of other molecules that cause new connections to form between brain cells that are involved in thought patterns, mood and cognition, leading to improved symptoms. Some patients achieve long-term relief after a single series of infusions, while others find that the infusions enhance their oral medications and complementary therapies. When administered in a medically supervised, comfortable, and controlled setting, studies do not support that ketamine exhibits addictive potential and it may be administered on a consistent basis to sustain mental health.
All patients are unique and results cannot be guaranteed. If you feel you have exhausted all current treatment options, especially depression therapies, ketamine infusion therapy may be the next step for you. The protocols utilized by Dripsy Health are developed based on our professional and continued review of current consensus on the off-label use of ketamine for the treatment of mental and behavioral health along with chronic pain conditions.
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What To Expect
Arrival on Infusion Day
On your infusion day, you and your driver will arrive at Dripsy Health and be greeted by our team to help you through your personalized treatment experience. With the medical team, prior to your infusion, you will fill out a health history form and mental health assessment, and any additional necessary forms. This mental health assessment will help our team determine your response to the infusion and tailor the dose and timing of your subsequent infusions.
Starting the Infusion
You will be lead you to your room where a small IV will be started in your hand or arm, and be placed on a monitor. It is recommended that you bring comfortable noise cancelling headphones, a blanket, eyeshades and light relaxing music to listen to during your infusion. Music recommendations can be suggested. The ketamine infusion is started and you are instructed to recline, relax, and close your eyes. The medicine is given slowly over a minimum of 40 minutes (the infusion is longer for pain disorders). During that time, we will intermittently monitor your vital signs. During the Infusion Halfway through the infusion most patients begin to experience feelings described as: euphoria, floating, heightened perceptions, feeling disconnected, or in a dream. Less commonly, patients may experience some anxiety, dizziness, or a headache. Medications can be administered, but are generally not necessary, if those symptoms persist and/or become uncomfortable. All of these effect tend to subside approximately 10-15 minutes after the completion of the infusion. Most patients can expect to be with us for approximately 90 minutes from the time you enter the clinic to when you leave, with minimal to no side effects at that point and none between treatments.
After the Infusion
After the infusion, it is possible to notice mood effects of the infusion as soon as 1 hour afterwards, but typically such effects are noticed 4 to 24 hours post-infusion. If effective, there should be a noticeable difference in feeling less depressed, more hopeful, with decreased thoughts of suicide, if present. For the treatment of pain, relief and improvement of symptoms typically occurs within hours of the infusion.
Conditions Treated by Ketamine
Supported by an ever growing and robust series of studies and clinical trials, we use intravenous (IV) ketamine to treat conditions such as: depression, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), chronic pain, migraines, suicidal ideation (SI), fibromyalgia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, neuropathic pain, and substance use disorders (SUD).
Aside from mild, manageable, and transient side effects due to the nature of the medication, the greatest risk associated with ketamine is dependency and addiction. However, given the frequency (no more than twice weekly) and dosages given, these risks are greatly reduced.
In general, side effects are mild and short-lived. Following an infusion, patients may feel tired, dizziness, and/or may experience nausea. During an infusion dissociation (feeling detached from your body and/or environment) may occur. If it is intense, the infusion can be slowed or discontinued. Dissociative effects are also temporary in nature.
Alternative treatment options for depression and treatment-resistant depression (TRD) include conventional antidepressants (i.e. SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs), psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). However, traditional psychiatric medications (with certain exceptions) can be continued and may have a synergistic effect with ketamine therapy.
Medical and psychiatric histories will be assessed to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for ketamine treatment. Certain conditions that may preclude you from ketamine treatment include but are not limited to: pregnancy, uncontrolled blood pressure, unstable heart disease, untreated thyroid disease, acute psychosis (hallucinations/delusions).
Ketamine treatments vary in results from person to person. Some patients achieve long-term relief after a single series of infusions. Some find that these infusions complement and even enhance their existing psychiatric medications and therapies. Some patients choose to begin a maintenance program, returning for single infusions intermittently. The interval between these maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
The cost per treatment is $400.
Currently Dripsy Health does not contract with any insurance carriers. Additionally, insurance reimbursement for ketamine infusions vary widely. If you would like to submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement of your out-of-pocket costs, we will provide you with the necessary documentation to aid in this process.
Yes! A release of information form can be provided and once signed we can work collaboratively with your other providers to better customize your treatment plan. This continued care and careful follow-up is important on your journey to wholeness.
Standard antidepressant medications (SSRIs/SNRIs, MAOIs, and TCAs) do not appear to interfere with ketamine, and there is no evidence to support stopping them prior to treatment. Ketamine can be sedating and cause dizziness so benzodiazepines should be held on the day of treatment but can be continued up until the day before treatment and restarted on the day after treatment if needed.
Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.