Ketamine was developed more than 50 years ago as an anesthetic agent. Ketamine is a safe, effective and fast acting medication with few side effects. Physicians regularly use this medication on both pediatric and adult patients. More recently, intravenous (IV) ketamine has been proven to be a highly effective medication for the treatment of depression, anxiety, post- traumatic stress disorder and certain pain syndromes.
Although all patients are unique and results cannot be guaranteed, over 70% of patients with treatment resistant mood disorders and pain syndromes can expect significant relief with ketamine infusions. We customize each patient’s infusion dosage and frequency to maximize a positive and effective clinical response.
Initially we schedule two infusions one to two days apart. The majority of our patients see some mood elevation or symptomatic pain relief between the 1st and 2nd infusions. If the infusions are effective, we schedule 4 additional infusions for the mood disorder (and fibromyalgia) patients over the next 10 days (6 total infusions). For pain syndrome patients, 3 additional infusions are scheduled. Following the initial series of infusions, most patients choose, in consultation with their doctors, to begin a maintenance program, returning for single “booster” infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
Please contact the clinic, (949) 499-7500, to schedule your infusion. Your primary health provider can also refer you to the clinic. Your health provider will complete our Provider Referral Form and prior to your first infusion you will complete a Health Assessment. Our Clinical Coordinator will assist you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
The Ketamine Wellness Clinic believes that a multidisciplinary, “team approach” is very important for your health and safety and to maximize the benefit of your infusion treatments. If you do not have a referring provider we will help put you in contact with one of our excellent providers specifically tailored for your particular needs.
Insurance company reimbursement for ketamine infusions vary widely. We require payment at the time of your infusion. If you would like to submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement, we will provide you with the necessary documentation to aid in this process. Our physicians are required to bill your insurance directly for their professional services. Some of our patients have been successful recovering a portion of their out of pocket costs for treatment in our clinic.
Ketamine is a very safe drug. There are very few side effects and as anesthesiologists we regularly administer this medication.
Patients commonly admit to feeling tired following an infusion. Occasionally patients experience nausea or a transient headache, which is relieved by an additional anti-nausea medication or oral Tylenol/NSAIDs. Side effects from the infusion are typically short lived lasting usually only a few hours. There are no reported long term side effects with ketamine infusions.
Current studies do not demonstrate an addictive potential for ketamine when administered in a controlled and monitored environment.
Approximately 70% of patients positively respond to ketamine infusion therapy.
The first 15-20 minutes you may have no noticeable effects. Halfway through the infusion most patients begin to experience feelings described as: euphoria, floating, heightened perceptions, feeling disconnected, or in a dream.
Some patients achieve long-term relief after a single series of infusions. Some find that these infusions augment and enhance their existing oral medications and therapies. For resistant symptoms, for which ketamine infusions are the only effective treatment, most patients choose to begin a maintenance program, returning for single “booster” infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
On the day of your infusion, you will arrive at our clinic and fill out a short health assessment questionnaire that will allow you and the treatment team to track your progress. One of our experienced nurses will then start a small IV to provide access for the infusions. The ketamine infusion will then begin and we will provide noise-cancelling headphones so you can relax during the infusion. It is possible to feel sensations such as euphoria, floating, heightened perceptions or in a dream-like state. These feelings will subside quickly once the infusion is complete. You should anticipate that the entire process will take approximately 90 minutes (longer for chronic pain infusions).
Typical antidepressants take weeks to months to work. These medications have many common side effects: weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, and emotional blunting to name a few. If depressive symptoms are resistant to traditional oral antidepressants, the gold standard for treatment, and often the treatment of last resort is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Studies have shown that ketamine infusions rapidly improve symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder who DID NOT respond to ECT. Source
Yes. We will work in concert with your primary care provider, as consultants, to individually tailor your treatment plan. This continued care is a key element in your pathway to better health. For those patients who so desire we can help coordinate consultation with one of our mental health experts.
We will review your medical history prior to your first infusion. There are only a few medical conditions that would preclude you from receiving a ketamine infusion: uncontrolled blood pressure, unstable heart disease, intracranial mass, untreated thyroid disease, current manic phase of bipolar disorder, acute psychotic hallucinations/delusions.
We ask that you have someone bring you to your infusion and take you home. We advise you to avoid driving, operating heavy and or dangerous machinery, or conducting any significant business for 24 hours after the infusion. We also ask that you avoid eating any solid foods 4 hours prior to your infusion and to stop drinking clear liquids 2 hours prior to your infusion.
Benzodiazepines have been shown to possibly decrease the effectiveness of ketamine therapy in patients with treatment resistant mood disorders. We will give you instructions on managing these medications prior to your infusion. Do not self-taper these medications if you are currently prescribed them.
All ketamine infusions administered by the Ketamine Wellness Clinic are outpatient procedures. We provide these infusions within the comfort and safety of our state of the art clinic located at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.
Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclics) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop them. Ketamine infusions can provide relief during the time it takes antidepressant medications to begin working. Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.
We attempt to schedule all patients within 72 hours. Please call us toll-fee at (949) 499-7500 to schedule your infusion.
There are no set age requirements for receiving ketamine infusion treatments.
For mood disorder/fibromyalgia dosing, the cost is $750/infusion. For other pain syndromes, please call or email for pricing.
For mood disorders and fibromyalgia, the infusion will last 40 minutes with 20 to 30 minutes of recovery time. For neuropathic pain and refractory headaches, the infusion will last 2 hours with approximately 45 minutes of recovery time. For CRPS, the infusion will last for 4 hours with approximately 45 to 60 minutes of recovery time.