Ketamine FAQs

Ketamine FAQs

Q: How can I find out if ketamine infusion is right for me?

A: Contact Dr. Malek to arrange a free phone consultation.

Q: How many infusions will I need?

A: We recommend six infusions over one to three weeks for treating psychiatric and chronic pain conditions. If we successfully control your symptoms, Dr. Malek will conduct follow-up evaluations to determine long-term treatment plans. Follow-up treatment usually consists of one infusion every four to five weeks.

Q: How does depression treatment differ from chronic pain treatment?

A: They are very similar. The main differences are the duration of different infusions and the total amount of ketamine given for each infusion. Typically, infusions for chronic pain conditions take twice as long and use about twice the amount of ketamine.

Q: Are there medical or psychiatric conditions that would exclude me from therapy?

A: A history of schizophrenia, drug and alcohol abuse, uncontrolled high blood pressure, glaucoma or previous allergic reactions to ketamine would exclude you as a candidate for ketamine infusions.

Q: Is ketamine safe?

A: Yes. Ketamine is a commonly used anesthetic in operating rooms around the world. The dosage for treating depression and chronic pain is well below what is typically used in the operating room. Dr. Malek will discuss specific risks, side effects and alternatives during your initial consultation.

Q: Can I get addicted to ketamine?

A: There is no evidence of increased risk for ketamine abuse among patients who have been treated for pain and depression with IV infusions.

Q: Do I need a referral to get ketamine infusion therapy?

A: No. You can refer yourself as long as you have a qualified physician to manage your medication and a therapist who can monitor your symptoms on an ongoing basis.

Q: Does health insurance cover ketamine infusion therapy?

A: Currently, insurance companies do not cover ketamine infusions. Payment for treatments is required prior to being scheduled. Fees for consultation visits and follow-up visits may be covered by some insurance plans. Contact your insurance company for specifics.

Q: What conditions do you treat with IV ketamine infusions?

A: We treat depression, OCD, PTSD and chronic pain. Ask about other indications.

Q: How successful is IV ketamine therapy for treating depression?

A: About 70% of people with depression respond successfully to ketamine infusions.

Q: Are there any restrictions after I’ve had a ketamine infusion?

A: You cannot drive until the morning following your appointment, so you should arrange for transportation home following the treatment. You should also avoid illegal drugs and alcohol for at least 24 hours.

Q: Is ketamine infusion therapy FDA-approved?

A: No. Ketamine is a generic drug so it is highly unlikely that pharmaceutical companies will invest the time and money required to obtain FDA approval.

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