Ketamine Therapy FAQs
BLOOM is a doctor-owned and operated facility that provides mental health solutions tailored for your overall wellbeing. If you have additional questions, please contact us.
General Information about Ketamine Therapy and How it Works
Preparing for Ketamine Infusions
Administrative Questions About Ketamine
What is ketamine?
Ketamine was developed more than 50 years ago as an anesthetic agent. Ketamine is a safe, effective, and fast acting medication with few side effects. Physicians regularly use this medication on both pediatric and adult patients. More recently, intravenous (IV) ketamine has been proven to be a highly effective medication for the treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and certain pain syndromes, used in this off-label capacity.
What conditions does ketamine treat?
Supported by an ever-growing and robust series of studies and clinical trials, we use intravenous (IV) ketamine to treat conditions such as: depression, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), migraines, suicidal ideation (SI), fibromyalgia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, neuropathic pain syndromes.
What is the success rate of ketamine treatment?
Approximately 70%-80% of patients positively respond to ketamine infusion therapy for psychiatric conditions.
Are there any age requirements for treatment?
Bloom Health will treat patients over the age of eighteen who are deemed eligible for ketamine-infusion therapy.
Are there any risks associated with ketamine treatment?
Ketamine is considered a safe drug when properly administered at the appropriate dosages.
Are there any side effects of ketamine treatment?
In general, side effects are minimal and short-lived. Following an infusion, patients may feel tired and/or may experience nausea or a transient headache. There are no reported long-term side effects with ketamine infusions.
Are ketamine infusions addictive?
The short answer is no, because the dosage that is administered in the infusions is considered minimal and does not produce the effects that a higher dosage would. Bloom Health and Wellness Center minimizes the addictive potential of ketamine by controlling the delivery of all ketamine medications, as well by carefully monitoring for individual tolerance to the medication.
How does ketamine compare to other treatment alternatives?
To be clear, ketamine infusions are not the first-line treatment for these medical conditions, but rather ideally suited for patients who have failed on first-line treatments, such as antidepressants. Ketamine infusions generally work more rapidly than antidepressants, and infusions do not share the common side effects that include weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal disfunction, fatigue and emotional blunting. For depression specifically, if depressive symptoms are resistant to traditional oral antidepressants, often the treatment of last resort is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Studies have shown that ketamine infusions rapidly improve symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder who did not respond to ECT. (Source)
Are there any medical conditions that will keep me from receiving a treatment?
We will review your medical and psychiatric histories to determine if you are a candidate for ketamine treatment. There are several medical conditions that will preclude a patient from receiving a ketamine infusion, including but not limited to: pregnancy, uncontrolled blood pressure, unstable heart disease, current drug abuse, intracranial mass, untreated thyroid disease, current manic phase of bipolar disorder, acute psychotic hallucinations/delusions.
How long will the results last?
Some patients achieve long-term relief after a single series of infusions. Some find that these infusions augment and enhance their existing oral medications and therapies. For resistant symptoms, for which ketamine infusions are the only effective treatment, most patients choose to begin a maintenance program, returning for single “booster” infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
Will ketamine infusions work for me?
Although all patients are unique and results cannot be guaranteed, over 70% — 80% of patients with treatment-resistant mood disorders and pain syndromes can expect significant relief with ketamine infusions. We customize each patient’s infusion dosage and frequency to maximize a positive and effective clinical response.
How long does the infusion take?
For mood disorders and fibromyalgia, the infusion will last approximately 40 minutes, with 20 to 30 minutes of additional recovery time.
For neuropathic pain and refractory headaches, the infusion will last approximately 2 hours, with approximately 45 minutes of additional recovery time.
For CRPS, the infusion will last for approximately 4 hours, with approximately 45 to 60 minutes of additional recovery time.
What is the usual course of treatment? / How many treatments will I need?
Generally, a series of six treatments is recommended for best results. Most commonly, two infusions are scheduled close in time. If the initial infusions are effective, for psychiatric disorders, four additional infusions are scheduled over the following ten days. For pain syndrome patients, generally three additional infusions are scheduled.
Following the initial series of infusions, patients may choose, after consultation with their treating physicians and the Bloom Health team, to begin a maintenance program, returning for single “booster” infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
On the day of my infusion, what can I expect?
Bloom Health and Wellness is committed to providing COVID-related procedures to minimize exposure, including a strict mask-wearing policy, a temperature check upon arrival, and sterile processes.
On the day of your infusion, you will arrive at our clinic and fill out a short health assessment questionnaire that will allow you and the treatment team to track your progress, as well as reviewing the post-discharge instructions and executing any necessary informed consents. Next, one of our experienced nurses will start a small IV to provide access for the infusions. If desired, we provide noise-cancelling headphones, an eye mask, and weighted blanket so you can relax during the infusion. Some patients report feeling sensations such as euphoria, floating, heightened perceptions or a dream-like state. These feelings will subside once the infusion is complete.
What can I expect to feel during and after my infusion?
During the initial 15-20 minutes, you may have no noticeable effects. Halfway through the infusion, some patients begin to experience feelings described as: euphoria, floating, heightened perceptions, feeling disconnected, or in a dream. You will be monitored continuously throughout your infusion.
Do I continue seeing my current psychiatrist, therapist, or primary care provider?
Yes. We will work in concert with your primary care provider, as consultants, to individually tailor your treatment plan. This continued care is a key element in your pathway to better health.
What directions do I need to follow before my infusion?
Prior to any infusion, we will review the pre- and post-discharge instructions with you in our office. One of the more important instructions is that you may not drive home following an infusion, and therefore you will need to bring a driver with you to our office. The patient is required to avoid eating any solid foods 4 hours prior to an infusion, and to stop drinking clear liquids 2 hours prior to an infusion. Please find additional information in the Ketamine Infusion Welcome Packet, found under Forms.
Do I continue taking my current medications?
Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclics) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop them. Ketamine infusions can provide relief during the time it takes antidepressant medications to begin working. Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.
Do I continue taking my benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Atvian, etc)?
Benzodiazepines have been shown to possibly decrease the effectiveness of ketamine therapy in patients with treatment resistant mood disorders. We will give you instructions on managing these medications prior to your infusion. Do not self-taper these medications if you are currently prescribed them.
How much does ketamine therapy cost?
The cost of ketamine IV therapy for psychiatric diagnoses is $550.00 per treatment for a total of $3300.00 for six initial infusions over a two- to three-week period. The cost of ketamine IV therapy for chronic pain syndromes is $550 per hour of treatment therapy, and the number of treatment hours required is based on the type of pain syndrome. A typical minimum infusion for a pain syndrome is two hours, with 5-6 treatments over a two- to three-week period. This pricing does not include additional maintenance treatments.
Bloom Health is pleased to offer reduced pricing to military veterans.
When can I begin my infusions, and how do I schedule them?
First, please schedule a complimentary medical consultation to determine your eligibility for ketamine therapy. If you are accepted, then further sessions may be scheduled per your treatment regimen. Please call us at (913) 766-3664 or use our automated online scheduling system to schedule your complimentary medical consultation. If possible, please fill out the Ketamine Infusion Welcome Packet and bring these forms with you to your consultation. If you are not able to print out these forms, please arrive in our office 15 minutes early to your consultation and you may fill out the forms while in our office.
Will my insurance cover this treatment?
No. Bloom Health does not contract with any insurance carriers. Bloom Health requires payment prior to any rendering of services.
Insurance company reimbursement for ketamine infusions vary widely. If you would like to submit a claim to your insurance provider for reimbursement of your out-of-pocket costs, we will provide you with the necessary documentation to aid in this process, but Bloom Health does not investigate coverage by any health carrier.
What if I do not have a referring provider (referring doctor)?
You do not need to have a referring doctor to become a patient. However, Bloom Health believes that a multidisciplinary “team approach” is very important for your health and safety, and strongly encourages you to secure a primary-care physician or psychiatrist.
Where are the infusions performed?
The infusions are provided within the comfort and safety of our state-of-the-art clinic at Bloom Health and Wellness Center, at 8201 Mission Road, Suite 202, Prairie Village, Kansas, 66208. Bloom Health prioritizes clinical expertise and safety. The medical clinic features an automated external defibrillator (AED), and our nursing staff, comprised of registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), are trained in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support. All nursing staff are seasoned emergency-medicine trained professionals. The ketamine treatments are administered as outpatient infusions.