Frequently Asked Questions

The more patients know about ketamine therapy, the better informed you are to decide if treatment is the right choice for you. We have included some frequently asked questions about ketamine infusion therapy. We want to alleviate any misperceptions or mysteries about the efficacy of the drug in treatment.

At MPH, we aspire to create an environment where every patient feel safe and comfortable. Our clinic is designed to be an attractive, well-appointed medical facility. We want it to feel less like being ‘at the doctor’ and more like you are with friends or family.

Field Anethesia

The History

Ketamine was first synthesized in 1962 by Calvin L. Stevens, a professor of Chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. After a lot of very promising research, ketamine was first introduced in controlled human testing in 1964, demonstrating ketamine’s short duration of action and reduced behavioral toxicity, making it a favorable choice over others as a dissociative anesthetic. This, in turn, led to the FDA’s approval in 1970.

Some Americans may know ketamine as a field anesthetic that was used extensively during the Vietnam conflict to help wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Medics were able to administer ketamine quickly and successfully under difficult circumstances with few adverse side effects.

Ketamine is used today to treat returning soldiers struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among other issues.

FAQs

What is it?

Ketamine is categorized as a type of anesthetic used to treat various chronic pain syndromes as well as neuropathic disorders such as depression. It is a powerful medicine that can be administered intravenously by a trained medical professional to treat the symptoms of a range of maladies, from chronic pain to depression.

How does it work?

Simply put, ketamine works by shutting down overactive neurons while improving the healthy function of the existing neurons. In addition, the ketamine improves neural connectivity in the brain that enhances daily, healthy brain function.

Ketamine has been around since the early 1960’s, but some medical professionals think of it as a “new medicine” it is not. Used commonly as an anesthetic, It has been found to rapidly improve the symptoms of depression, chronic pain and other types of mental anguish, bipolar and/or mental disorders.  

How do I know if Ketamine is right for me?

Michigan Progressive Health offers free consultations.  This can be done in person or on the phone.  We also suggest discussing the possibility of ketamine infusions with your primary care physician or psychiatrists before determining if it might work for you.

Does Ketamine work for all types of depression?

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.

Do you accept my insurance?

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

What is the cost of treatment?

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

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

How many treatments will I need?

Ketamine treatment occurs in two steps – “Initiation” and “Maintenance”. The initiation period is different depending on your condition.

Treatment Resistant Depression and Mood Disorders are treated with 6 treatments over 3-4 weeks during the initiation phase.
The maintenance period consists of “boosters” – which are typically a single treatment. The first booster is typically scheduled 2-3 weeks after your last initiation infusion. After that, every patient varies, but the average length between boosters is 6-8 weeks.

For patients with mood disorders, Michigan Progressive Health uses a daily text program to monitor your mood and help decide on timing between infusions.

Migraines are typically treated with one to two treatments during initiation. Most migraine patients need one infusion every 8-12 weeks for maintenance.

Chronic pain infusions are several hours long for several days in a row. The doctor works closely with each patient to tailor an individual schedule that will be most successful. Maintenance infusions for chronic pain are every 2-3 months.

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. It is recommended that your physician be aware of your plans to start Ketamine infusions.

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. It is recommended that you bring a family member or trusted friend to help you understand if ketamine is right for you.

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. You may find a decreased need for these meds after your infusion; however, you should work with your doctor to wean off these medications instead of stopping quickly.

Can I eat or drink before I come in?

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

What should I wear the day of the infusion?

Comfortable, loose clothing.

What should I expect on the day of the infusion?

You will be greeted by our office staff and asked to fill out a short questionnaire. The doctor will perform a physical exam. 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.

Is it possible I will not get my infusion?

Any severe hypertension, chest pain, evidence of street drug abuse (cocaine, amphetamines or opiates) or manic symptoms during your physical exam will prohibit you from receiving 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.  You also ask that you refrain from operating heavy machinery, avoid strenuous activities, do not watch small children or sign/enter into legal contracts for the next 24 hours.