Frequently Asked Questions: Ketamine

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic drug shown to be an effective treatment in managing symptoms of depression, PTSD, and chronic pain. For more information, including recent research, visit our page on Ketamine.

Are there Side Effects?

While any medication may cause side effects, the dosages of Ketamine that we use at VMI are associated with minimal side effects. Should they occur they are often short lived, resolving in an average of 30 minutes.

The side effects can include dizziness, head ache, blurred vision, and rarely, nausea.

However, if the patient feels any discomfort from the side effects, we have medication and comfort care to allay these effects.

 

Rest assured that our clinic is set up to provide maximum comfort, and a relaxing atmosphere, while providing you with safe monitoring and individualized attention. Monitoring by our experienced anesthesia providers ensures a smooth ketamine experience, with minimal side effects.​

Is Ketamine addictive?

Ketamine, unlike opioids, is not associated with any physically addictive properties. 

 

Do I need a referral from another physician?

All patients are welcome to self-refer. Our team of experts will provide a  consultation to determine if Ketamine therapy is right for you. Those patients suffering from mental health disorders, such as depression, OCD, severe anxiety will also have to be under the care of a mental health professional. Our team will work closely with your practitioner to ensure the best outcomes for your wellbeing.

 

How do i know if it worked?

Some patients report an improvement in mood and general wellbeing after only one treatment. For others, this change in mood occurs over the course of the treatments, some describe it as a fog being lifted. Typically, research has shown, that after the sixth to eighth treatment, patients feel a change in mood, improvement in daily functionality and a better general sense of wellbeing.

Do i have to stop other medications?

Benzodiazepines interfere with Ketamine’s effects, we ask that you not take these medications in the 48 hours leading up to your treatment, including the day of the treatment. All other current medication regimen are to be continued, and only changed with the direction of your physician, and mental health practitioner.​

How long does it last?

The effects of Ketamine have been demonstrated to last 6 weeks to 3 months, and longer. It is not unusual for individuals to require a booster infusion, which our team will individualize based on your response. These can occur at any time after 6-8 weeks of the initial treatment.

 

What will I be doing during the infusion?

We provide a quiet, relaxing environment for you to sit back, and allow the medication to take effect. All treatments are given in private rooms. You will be monitored by a heart and oxygen monitor intermittently throughout the infusion. You may listen to your own choice of soothing music. We minimize any external stimuli for the shorter infusions. For those receiving 4 hour infusions, we provide free wifi, and encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy music, reading or surfing the web.

 

Will my insurance cover this?

The use of Ketamine for chronic pain and mental health disorders, although well researched, does not meet the extensive clinical trials traditionally required by insurance companies to justify coverage. However, individual insurance careers can vary in their coverage of Ketamine, and we understand some patients have successfully secured some coverage for their treatment. We therefore recommend that patients contact their insurance company and discuss the possibility of coverage for Ketamine infusions.

What types of payment do you accept? is credit available?

We offer a variety of secure methods to pay for your services, including a credit financing option.

  1. Pay online: you can do this at the time of booking (if booking your appointment online) or by contacting us and requesting an invoice for your specific treatment plan to be emailed to you.

  2. Pay via Paypal: click here to send a payment via Paypal (please note you'll need to know your exact amount due for this option.)

  3. Pay over the phone: call us at the clinic @ 240-630-8404 or 202-427-5382 to make a payment over the phone with a major credit card.

  4. Pay in person: we accept credit cards and checks at our office.

  5. Apply for credit: Vitality Medical Infusions works with Advance Care to provide a credit option which offers 0% financing for 14 months (for those who qualify.) The application only takes about 5 minutes and you'll receive an immediate approval decision in most cases. Apply now on the Advance Care website at: http://advancecarecard.com/apply-now/.

Note that we offer a 10% military discount. Call for details.

Will Ketamine replace my current drug regimen?

Ketamine Infusions are not intended to replace your current medication regimen but to be used in conjunction with it.  For this reason, you must continue your care with your primary care provider, and your primary mental health care provider, if applicable. If for some reason the infusions are ineffective, the protocol can be stopped immediately.​​​

How do I know if I am a good candidate for Ketamine therapy?

  • You must be 18 years or older with no uncontrolled medical conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or cardiac disease.*With pediatrician and parental approval, we will consider treating adolescents.

  • You must have a diagnosis of major depression, refractory depression, PTSD, OCD, Bipolar disorder, anxiety, and/or chronic pain, and be resistant to other treatments, such as medications.

  • You must be under the care of a current provider treating you for your diagnosis.

  • Patient with sleep apnea may be asked to bring their CPAP devices with them, and may be administered oxygen.

  • Have no history of difficult IV insertions, and can sit comfortably for 1-4 hours.

I'm ready to give it a try. What do I do now?

First, contact us to schedule your initial consultation. Fill out your medical history form and have your referring physician fill out the referral form (if applicable) prior to your visit. During your first appointment, your practitioner will meet with you to determine the best course of action for your treatment. The length of this initial consultation will depend on if you were referred by a physician or self-referred. If you both decide to move forward, 50% of your initial consult fee ($50) will be credited towards your treatment. 

What can I expect on treatment day?

Please Read Our Instructions Below Carefully:

  • You may have a light meal up to 4 hours in advance of the treatment, and clear liquids up to 2 hours prior to the treatment. Clear liquid examples include only water, black coffee, plain tea, or apple juice. Milk, creamer are not clear liquids.​

  • You must arrange for a ride from the clinic, you may not drive the day of your infusion.

    • Your ride must arrive 30 minutes before your discharge.​

  • Please wear comfortable clothing, that allow us to access your arms (for blood pressure and IV start) and your chest (for ECG lead placements).

    • We recommend a button down or zip up sweater/shirt.​

  • Your treatment will be administered in a private room.

  • You may bring music to listen to. We recommend a soothing music of your choosing.​

  • Phones should be in do not disturb mode, and for privacy of all of our patients we require no talking, photos, videos or texts.​

  • No benzodiazepines should be taken prior to treatments.​

  • Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about treatment day instructions.