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 feels 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.  Another benefit of ketamine was that is doesn’t lower blood pressure or breathing rates. 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 war 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 now used daily in U.S. operating and emergency rooms as anesthesia for painful procedures.  It is also the most common anesthetic in third world countries and is listed as one of the World Health Organizations “Essential Medications” due to the high safety profile of this medication.


How does ketamine work?

On a basic neurochemical basis, it is an N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor inhibitor.  Blocking the NMDA receptor allows for modulation of glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter) and ultimately increases levels of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), which create protein synthesis in neurons.

Many ketamine experts consider this process a “reset” button for the brain, just like you would reset your computer.  A ketamine infusion allows the unhealthy neuronal pathways that are constantly “on” in your brain to turn off for a period of time.  One can consider all the unhealthy thoughts that continuously occur – such as automatic negative thoughts, obsessive thoughts, anxious thoughts, persistent pain – as these unhealthy pathways.  When your brain comes back “on-line”, you can then access the more healthy pathways or loops in your brain.

Simply put, ketamine works by shutting down overactive neurons while improving the healthy function of the existing neurons. In addition, ketamine improves neural connectivity in the brain that enhances daily, healthy brain function.  Ketamine helps a patient restore executive control of their thoughts and emotions.

How do I know if Ketamine is right for me?

Michigan Progressive Health requires a $300 in-person office consultation. This sixty-minute office visit will give ample time for the patient to meet our providers, review risks and benefits of ketamine, answer all questions, and get adequately prepared for the initiation series of ketamine infusions. We are committed to providing each patient with the right tools and resources for success- part of this is presenting alternative therapies that may either compliment or be done instead of ketamine therapy.

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 $500. 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.

Office visits with the physician are $300.

MPH Pricing Policy (Click Here)

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 6-8 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 up to 24 hours, and we require you to have someone to drive you home BEFORE starting the infusion.  We 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 12 hours.