Ketamine Therapy FAQ
Ketamine treatment is an alternative therapy for people with treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine was originally used as a medical anesthetic, but as an antidepressant it is administered at much smaller doses either through infusion or a nasal spray.
Ketamine is used in medical settings as an anesthetic and can be prescribed by a doctor to treat some cases of depression. Patients who are prescribed ketamine therapy must have the treatment administered in a clinic with a professional.
Ketamine therapy works a little different for every patient, but typically patients see depression relief for a few months after treatment. If needed, patients can return for occasional booster sessions after the initial treatment is concluded.
Although ketamine therapy is largely used for treatment-resistant depression, there is evidence that ketamine infusion can also help to treat conditions like anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, or suicidal ideation.
Ketamine therapy is a safe and effective alternative to SSRIs and other depression therapies. It is prescribed for patients with depression that has not improved with other forms of treatment. Esketamine nasal spray is an FDA-approved treatment for depression.
Most insurance companies do not cover the actual administration of ketamine infusion treatment. Some insurance companies will cover esketamine nasal spray because it is FDA-approved as a treatment for depression.
Unlike other antidepressant medications, ketamine does not need to be taken continuously over many years to treat depression. Ketamine therapy sessions occur a few times a week over the course of two to three weeks. Patients will often see quick or immediate results following the initial sessions, and symptom relief may last many months after treatment has ended. Patients often return for occasional booster administrations to prolong the effectiveness of the treatment.
Typically, ketamine therapy for depression costs around $400 – $800 per session. Depending on the type of treatment and your insurance plan, some insurance companies will cover part or all of this cost.
Ketamine therapy is administered at relatively low doses, but you may temporarily feel some of the effects during your session. Many patients report feeling relaxed, floating sensations, or mild hallucinations, but these effects subside quickly. Some report feeling tired after sessions, so patients may not drive themselves home from sessions. The clinic will have you stay for 10-20 minutes after administration to be sure you experience no dizziness upon standing.
It is common to feel tired or drowsy after sessions, so patients may not drive themselves home from ketamine treatment sessions. Some patients report feeling tired for the rest of the day, but for the most part you can continue your day as normal after returning home from treatment.
It is common to feel mild side effects during or immediately after treatment such as feeling relaxed, floating sensations, or mild hallucinations. Most patients report treatment to be pleasant or neutral, and all side effects will diminish quickly over time. Additionally, you may feel groggy or tired until the next day.
Ketamine infusion is delivered intravenously by a professional in a clinic. The Spravato nasal spray contains esketamine and can be self-administered in a clinic with professional supervision.
Spravato is an esketamine nasal spray that is FDA-approved to treat depression that is resistant to other forms of treatment. Ketamine therapy has also been shown to help anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain.
The Spravato esketamine nasal spray has a high rate of success for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Most patients see symptom relief after the first few sessions and are able to diminish the number of sessions each month as treatment continues.
Most clinics will create a personalized and adjustable treatment plan for each patient. Typically, patients take the Spravato nasal spray two times a week for the first month, and then once a week or less for following months.
No, you cannot take Spravato at home. The nasal spray can be self-administered under supervision at the clinic or can be administered by a professional. You must have someone drive you home after treatment.
Spravato esketamine nasal spray is a safe and effective therapy that is FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression. A doctor and Spravato provider will determine if you are a good candidate for ketamine treatment; it is generally not recommended for those with a history of substance abuse.
Patients report no side effects or mild feelings of dizziness, feeling relaxed, floating sensations, or mild hallucinations during and directly following treatment. Some experience drowsiness or feel groggy for the rest of the day, but all side effects diminish relatively quickly.