Isn’t Ketamine an addictive party drug?
Ketamine developed a reputation as a drug of abuse and is also known as Vitamin K, Special K, Kit Kat or an animal tranquilizer. Addiction has not been described when following the low-dose infusion treatment schedule Klarity uses. Ketamine has been used extensively in the hospital setting as an anesthetic agent since being FDA-approved in the mid-1960’s and has a proven track record of safety and good patient tolerance.
Will Ketamine get FDA approval for treatment of depression and drug and alcohol addiction?
There is a movement to push the FDA for approval for the treatment of depression. However, without adequate backing, it will be difficult to finance the trials and bureaucratic navigation required to gain FDA approval for treatment of depression and chronic pain. Alternative formulations such as nasal sprays or sublingual tabs have been developed but are far more costly and lack the effectiveness of low-dose ketamine infusion therapy. There are also past and ongoing studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of ketamine for drug and alcohol addiction. To our knowledge, there is no current push for FDA approval for ketamine for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
Will Ketamine interact with my current medications?
Chronic use of benzodiazepines (e.g. Ativan and Xanax) and Lamictal (Lamotrigine) may render ketamine therapy ineffective and we may recommend those medications be stopped or dosages significantly reduced at least 5-14 days before treatment. Patients on MAOi’s should not take ketamine. Consult with your prescribing doctor prior to stopping any medication.
Will there be any long term side effects from Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
The occasional side effects that we see from low dose ketamine treatments usually resolve shortly after treatment. We may use supplemental medications to treat nausea, anxiety, hallucinations, and/or blood pressure changes.
How will I feel during my treatment?
During the infusion, some patients report changes in their vision, speech, and thought processes. They often describe feelings of dissociation from their body. It can feel like a sedated or dreamlike state. If unpleasant hallucinations or other sensations occur, we may decrease the infusion rate and/or administer medications to minimize these experiences.
How will I feel after my treatment?
Patients usually recover from the effects of the infusion within 20-30 minutes. There may be residual cloudiness and mild difficulty walking for a few hours. You may also feel fatigued for the remainder of the day. We recommend the patient have a low impact and relaxing remainder of their day following the infusion.
How soon will I see improvement in my symptoms of depression?
Sometimes the positive effects of treatment can be seen within minutes of completion. Typically after the third infusion for patients being treated for depression, we will know if ketamine is producing the desired results. Patients and their friends or family members may notice significant changes in mood and behavior almost immediately.
How long will my relief from symptoms of depression last?
Following the initial series of six treatments, we expect to see significant improvement that lasts from a few weeks to several months. Typically a “booster” ketamine infusion treatment is required after that time period to maintain relief of symptoms.
Will my insurance pay for this treatment?
Unfortunately, private and government sponsored insurance plans consider this treatment off-label and as an such, are not currently covering costs associated with the administration of ketamine infusions for major depression and drug and/or alcohol addiction. We currently only accept cash or credit cards.
What is your concierge service?
For our out of town and international patients, we offer our Concierge Service. This service includes pickup and transport to and from LAX in Los angeles, California as well as your clinic visits by private, luxury transportation service . We will also do our best to provide translation services and have access to translators for most Asian, European and South American patients. We know how difficult it can be for our travelling patients, so let us make this journey as pleasant and stress-free as possible!