FAQs

Ketamine Facts

Ketamine, a derivative of phencyclidine, is an anesthetic drug that was developed in 1962 and has been widely used in a variety of settings. Ketamine acts as an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and targets glutamate, which is an excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter. 

Ketamine has been used to induce and maintain general anesthesia for more than 30 years and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Ketamine is FDA-approved as an anesthetic and has a remarkably safe track record in clinical settings. Ketamine is commonly used to treat complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), sometimes referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). 

Over the past two decades, researchers have consistently found that low doses of ketamine, administered intravenously (ketamine infusions), produce a rapid anti-depressant effect.

Ketamine is used to treat various chronic pain syndromes, especially those that have a neuropathic component, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), or reflex sympathetic systrophy (RSD).

Scientists are still exploring the exact mechanism by which depression is relieved, but research suggests that by blocking the NMDA receptors, ketamine prompts the brain to increase the production of synaptic signaling proteins in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain thought to play a critical role in a person’s ability to regulate his/her mood. Ketamine appears to promote the growth of new synapses in the prefrontal cortex, resulting in greater connectivity in the brain while also switching certain connections on and off. This cascade of events is thought to be the reason for the rapid anti-depressant effect.

The duration of symptomatic relief patients experience following ketamine infusion therapy varies greatly. Patients who have received ketamine infusion therapy for depression have reported significant improvements in their mood and abilities to function anywhere from days to weeks. When patients do experience such relief, it may be the first time in decades that they have felt healthy and ‘normal’.

Scientists are still exploring the exact mechanism by which depression is relieved, but research suggests that by blocking the NMDA receptors, ketamine prompts the brain to increase the production of synaptic signaling proteins in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain thought to play a critical role in a person’s ability to regulate his/her mood. Ketamine appears to promote the growth of new synapses in the prefrontal cortex, resulting in greater connectivity in the brain while also switching certain connections on and off. This cascade of events is thought to be the reason for the rapid anti-depressant effect.

You haven’t heard of ketamine for the treatment of refractory depression because the practice of using ketamine to treat depression is in its infancy. Ketamine is most commonly known as a general anesthetic, used in surgical procedures. You may know of ketamine as a rave drug, used recreationally since the 1980s. The utilization of ketamine to treat depression is not yet FDA-approved, as the FDA approval process can take many years, due to the amount of funding, research and time required. Fortunately, the research being conducted continues to demonstrate that ketamine is effective in treating depression, and the use of ketamine in this population is becoming increasingly common.

* NOTE: Ketamine IS an FDA-approved drug for anesthetic purposes and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications.

Most recent research shows that some possible short-term side effects may include headache, anxiety, dissociation, nausea, and dizziness.

* NOTE: Ketamine Is an FDA-approved drug for anesthetic purposes and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications.

Yes, this is legal. Ketamine treatment is an intravenous infusion procedure performed in a specially equipped medical office under the direction of an M.D.

When ketamine is administered in a controlled medical setting by a properly trained and licensed clinician using established methods, it is very safe. Ketamine is the only anesthetic that does not suppress the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. When used recreationally or outside of a controlled medical setting, ketamine use can have very serious adverse effects.

* NOTE: Ketamine IS an FDA-approved drug for anesthetic purposes and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medications.

A series of Ketamine Infusions for depression, PTSD and Anxiety Disorders at Complete Ketamine Solutions consists of 6 infusions over a period of 10 days to 2 weeks. The first day in clinic is about 90 minutes because of paperwork and the infusions are weight based starting at 0.5mg/kg. The remaining 5 infusions are roughly an hour in duration with a slight increase in the amount of ketamine each successive infusion, and then a 30 – 45 min recovery time along with additional time in the waiting area if needed. The cost of the series is $2,200 and is due prior to the first infusion. Complete Ketamine Solutions will provide patients with a superbill that can be remitted to your insurance company to try to get reimbursed.

The ketamine infusion series for chronic pain management consists of six 2-hour infusions and has several more analgesic medications added to the infusions. This is weight-based and starts at 0.75mg/kg and will increase with each successive dose as long as it is well tolerated by the patient. 

The pain protocol is conducted in the same manner as the depression protocol over 10-14 days but can be extended to a third week if necessary. The cost of a Ketamine Infusion series for chronic pain is $2,700 and is due on the first day of your series, or due on the day of your first infusion, etc. 

As part of membership in our practice, we would like patients to come back for evaluation around 7 weeks after finishing their series, and every 7 weeks following for maintenance / booster infusions as a total compliance practice to keep your symptoms manageable for the future.

Boosters are sometimes necessary for both depression and pain related treatments. This is the current cost for boosters:
1 hour –    $325
2 hour –    $475
3 hour –    $675
4 hour –    $875
6 hour – $1,275
8 hour – $1,475

No, not yet (however for Spravato treatments we can submit to insurance to see if there is coverage). Complete Ketamine Solutions accepts payments via money order, personal checks, credit cards and cash, as well as patient financing through Walnut Medical Financing and Advance Care Medical Financing for those who qualify. More information about these financing options is available on our financing page.
Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy assists individuals toward healthy minds and healthy bodies in a gentle, safe, and creative setting to facilitate new and freer energy for life and connection. We cultivate awareness, imagination, and loving-kindness using methods that include the best of mainstream psychology and psychotherapy, and alternative methodologies (ketamine). Ketamine, as an adjunct to psychotherapy, helps the patient become more relaxed so they can work more deeply on material in psychotherapy.
Complete Ketamine Solutions is now Nashville’s first Certified REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) Center. We will soon be able to treat depression with the newly FDA-approved Spravato (Esketamine) nasal spray. Please contact us for more details about our Spravato treatment program and how it works.
Yes, in most cases! Unfortunately, however, this treatment is not yet covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
People with TRD (treatment-resistant depression) can qualify for Spravato treatments. However, patients must have failed two antidepressants and must currently be on an antidepressant.

Request a Consultation

Location*
*By submitting this form, you consent to receive SMS messages and/or emails from our company. To unsubscribe, follow the instructions provided in our communications. Msg & data rates may apply for SMS. Your information is secure and will not be sold to third parties.