Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Ketamine Infusions

Are Ketamine Infusions a cure for depression?

Will Ketamine Infusions cure my depression?

Not generally. While Ketamine Infusions do appear to be a permanent cure for a handful of patients, for most people this isn’t the case.

Periodic infusions every few weeks or months may be needed to maintain Ketamine’s antidepressant effect.

Are there any side effects to Ketamine Infusions?

What are there side effects to Ketamine Infusions?

After an infusion, you may feel tired, daydreamy, have fuzzy vision or feel a little “spaced out,” but these effect dissipate rapidly and are gone within 20 to 30 minutes after treatment.

Some patients experience nausea during treatment, and in those cases we will administer medication beforehand to minimize your discomfort.

To date, no long-term or permanent side effects have been documented with Ketamine infusion therapy.

Can I drive myself home after Ketamine treatment?

Can I drive myself home after Ketamine infusions?

No. We recommend that you do not drive, operate heavy or dangerous machinery, make important decisions, sign legal documents or engage in risky activities until the day after treatment.

Can I eat or drink before my Ketamine treatment?

Am I allowed to have a meal before Ketamine treatment or do I need to fast?

You’ll be advised not to eat for 4 hours before your appointment. Clear liquids are permitted up to 2 hours before Ketamine Infusions.

Can I get addicted to Ketamine infusion therapy?

Can I get addicted to Ketamine infusion treatment?

No. The low-dose Ketamine Infusions used for depression have not been shown to be addictive.

Do any medications interfere with Ketamine infusions?

Are there any specific medications that interfere with Ketamine Infusions?

Yes. Please provide a full list of the medications you are taking to our doctors before your first infusion.

Problematic medications include Lamictal (Lamotrigine), Isocarboxazid (Marplan), Selegiline (Emsam), Phenelzine (Nardil) and Tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Refrain from taking any MAO inhibitors for 2 weeks before an infusion.

Benzodiazepines are safe to take with Ketamine Infusions, but may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Our doctors can help you taper off these in order to maximize the benefits of your infusions: Ativan (Lorazepam), Xanax (Alprazolam), Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Valium (Diazepam).

Do not change your dose or frequency of any medications without prior consultation with the prescribing physician.

Do I need a referral from a psychiatrist for Ketamine?

Do I need a referral from a psychiatrist for Ketamine infusions?

No. Our team will conduct a pre-treatment consultation as well as a post-treatment evaluation without a referral. However, if you have a treating mental health provider, we will work closely with them to coordinate your care.

Does insurance cover Ketamine treatment?

What insurances do you accept?

Unfortunately, because Ketamine infusion therapy is considered “off-label” for use in the treatment of depression, insurance rarely covers it.

How many Ketamine treatments will I need?

How many Ketamine infusion treatments will I need?

The first four Ketamine Infusions determine whether or not you respond well to this medication. Most people notice a change after the first or second infusion. If you aren’t experiencing relief, we may increase the dose or length of the treatment. If after four treatments you are in the 20% of patients who do not experience relief from symptoms, Ketamine may not be a good treatment for you.
For the majority of our patients, Ketamine Infusions result in a marked reduction in symptoms. If you do respond well, then you’ll receive two additional weekly treatments, for a total of six infusions.  After that point we recommend maintenance infusions at 4, 6 or 8 week intervals. 

How much do Ketamine infusions cost?

How much does Ketamine Infusion Therapy cost?

At AKTARI, we suggest purchasing an initial treatment series of 4 Ketamine infusions for $1,500. This also includes the initial screening and medical records review, brief physical exam, vital signs monitoring, 4-separate IV infusion appointments, IV lines, infusion pump, ultrasound guided IV placement if needed, nausea medication if needed, and other necessary supplies and medical equipment.

Individual Ketamine treatments are $395 per infusion.

Follow-up consultation $200 or billed to insurance.

How soon will I notice results from Ketamine treatment?

How soon will I notice results after my Ketamine treatment?

This differs from patient to patient. Some people experience dramatic, instant improvement in their symptoms. More often, patients notice a more gradual change.

Patients with mood disorders typically begin to experience some type of relief within an hour after their first treatment. If you have damaging or suicidal thoughts, these may disappear immediately. Some patients don’t notice significant improvement until after their second or third infusion.

Even if you do see a change very quickly, it is important to complete the full series of treatment for long-term benefit.

I have other medical conditions. Am I still a candidate for Ketamine Infusions?

I have several other medical conditions. Do you think I still a candidate for Ketamine Infusions?

Very few medical conditions rule out Ketamine therapy. Our doctors will take a detailed medical history on you to find out if you have any medical problems that would contraindicate Ketamine Infusions.

I’m bipolar. Will Ketamine trigger hypomania?

Will Ketamine trigger hypermania or hypomania in a bipolar patient?

To date we have seen no reports or hypomania or hypermania following Ketamine therapy in bipolar patients.

What are the payment options for Ketamine treatment?

What are the payment options?

Payment options include cash, all major credit cards and CareCredit. We are also willing to discuss payment plans on an individual basis.  Our goal is to help you get better quickly versus suspend or wait on life-changing treatment because of payment arrangements.

CareCredit is a health care financing option that spreads out your payments over 12 months at no interest or longer with reasonable interest rates.

Where will I receive my Ketamine infusion therapy?

Do I need to go to a hospital for Ketamine infusion treatment?

Ketamine infusion therapy is conducted in our state-of-the-art outpatient facility located at 2155 E Conference Drive, Suite 101, Tempe, AZ 85284. In order to give you a calm and peaceful experience, you will be given a private room for each Ketamine treatment.

Why hasn’t my doctor mentioned Ketamine to me?

Why hasn’t my family practice or other healthcare professional mentioned Ketamine to me?

In general, physicians and psychiatrists are reluctant to change status quo therapies, and many have never heard of Ketamine used for indications other than anesthesia. In addition, pharmaceutical companies have no interest in marketing this medication because generic Ketamine has been approved by the FDA for over fifty years for use as an anesthetic, so it is unprofitable to promote and sell a drug whose patent expired decades ago.

Will I need additional “booster” Ketamine infusions?

Will I need additional Ketamine “booster” infusions?

We schedule additional treatments once a month to help extend the antidepressant effect when needed.

There is no set recommendation for Ketamine Infusion boosters as each person responds differently. After one treatment course combined with proper aftercare, some patients won’t require additional infusions. Aftercare plans may include counseling, physical therapy, diet, and other lifestyle changes to promote mental wellness.

Some patients also find that traditional antidepressant medications work better for them after their initial course of treatment with Ketamine Infusions.

Will ketamine infusions help with treatment resistant depression?

Are Ketamine Infusions effective for depression that doesn’t respond well to medication?

Most of the time, yes. In fact, 80% of patients with treatment-resistant depression have reported significant improvement in their symptoms after undergoing Ketamine Infusions.

While everyone is different, and we can’t guarantee that Ketamine Infusions will work for you, we are pleased with the high success rates and are careful to customize the frequency and dosage of treatments for each patient.