Ketamine Infusions for Depression and Chronic Pain
Ketamine infusion therapy can help people after surgery, people with chronic pain, and people with depression. IV ketamine gives you the longest exposure at predictable doses, unlike all other forms of ketamine.
Ketamine infusions can help people with chronic pain and people with psychiatric or psychological illness. IV ketamine gives you the longest exposure at predictable doses, unlike all other forms of ketamine.
Our clinic is optimized for the infusion experience. Unique features of our clinic that we have found to be very valuable for our patients over the years include:
- Spacious, private rooms with sound dampening to prevent outside noises from interfering with the experience
- Peaceful sensory involvement including a wide selection of music and realistic 4k video projection of nature scenes
- Major emphasis on safety. Occasionally things happen during infusions as with any anesthetic. APT is the most qualified center to deal with anesthesia related issues that occur thanks to our board certified anesthesiologists always being on site and directing all infusions, plus a central monitoring station where all vitals can be monitored at all times. We also provide nurses with substantial experience administering infusions, physicians supervising infusions and writing orders and crash cart including defibrillator, oxygen, suction, emergency airway supplies
- Large network of other pain physicians and psychiatrists. Most of our patients are referred by other providers. We are the most trusted and longest standing ketamine infusion clinic in Washington State.
- We provide more than just ketamine but also run a very large infusion clinic with 10 private rooms going at any one time. We do not have any incentive to recommend ketamine when it is ill advised as we have many other options to offer as well as connections with the community.
- Expertise in placing IV’s, accessing PICC lines, accessing ports? Dr. Fisk has a long-standing history of patient reviews noting his “impressive” IV skills.
- Warm blankets
- Call system for immediate help
We provide visitors with much more than just ketamine treatments. We offer Seattle and Bellevue area patients a professional and comforting environment with a confident medical team that has more experience and expertise than any other ketamine clinic in the area. For many patients, we don’t just provide ketamine infusions. We have a comprehensive approach and work closely with other providers in the area who specialize in many medical conditions. If ketamine does not work, we go over next steps in treatment of a patient’s pain or psychiatric condition.
Candidates for Ketamine Infusion Therapy
If you are suffering from psychiatric illness such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other ailments, in the Bellevue or Seattle area, schedule a consultation to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy.
Patients suffering from chronic nerve pain such as CRPS or other conditions that do not seem to respond to traditional pain management approaches can also benefit from ketamine.
FAQs about side effects
Why are these infusions expensive?
We bill insurance for depression. We have had some success getting insurance coverage especially for shorter infusions for psychiatric illness. For longer infusions which are sometimes needed for pain, which often require substantial physician supervision and 1:1 nurse coverage, insurance may only cover a fraction of the cost of the long infusion. We are forced to charge for the cost of overhead for running a facility such as this which is expensive. We still feel that our infusions are very reasonably priced when compared to other chronic pain infusion clinics, especially considering our level of expertise and the facility. We always bill insurance for our infusions.
I’ve heard ketamine causes strange feelings?
Our office is specifically designed to provide a peaceful, beautiful atmosphere where patients can relax. This helps a lot with any strange feelings patients experience during infusions. Medications can help control these side effects quickly and safely as well. This is one reason a ketamine infusion is better than trying to “go it alone” at home with other non-IV forms of ketamine, especially at first. Some patients only respond at higher doses of ketamine. This requires advanced anesthesia skills and experience to provide higher doses safely and supplement with appropriate medications to make the experience tolerable. Many clinics will not offer the option of these higher doses due to inexperience or inability to treat issues that arise with higher doses which ideally require the expertise of a board certified anesthesiologist.
Can ketamine cause health problems? Is it safe?
Overall, ketamine is a very safe drug when administered by a specialty clinic such as ours.
Ketamine at higher doses can cause high blood pressure and high heart rate which can be dangerous in patients with uncontrolled cardiovascular, lung, or kidney disease. Higher doses can require supplemental medications that can cause side effects requiring expertise in anesthesia to treat appropriately. It is important to be evaluated by a board-certified anesthesiologist when deciding whether a ketamine infusion, a form of anesthesia, is safe.
Our office provides this evaluation for every patient that requests consideration for ketamine infusions. If it is determined that a patient requires further medical optimization prior to ketamine administration, appropriate referrals to specialists can be made. For the most part patients will qualify for treatment via ketamine. Ketamine is extremely safe especially when administered under the supervision of a board-certified anesthesiologist. Our anesthesiologists has extensive experience with providing ketamine infusions. Our Bellevue and Seattle area treatment center has administered ketamine longer than any other clinic in Washington State. We have grown substantially over the last several years and have the capability of running 10 infusions at one time. We perform thousands of infusions per year.
Most patients come from referring psychiatrists or pain doctors – this is because the community trusts our medical expertise.
It is important to create a comfortable, clean, relaxing environment but at the same time emphasize safety and promote medical expertise. Our clinic strikes this balance.
Other things that can happen with ketamine?
Overall, long lasting side effects beyond the infusion are extremely rare with infusions. This will be discussed at length during consultation with our physician.
People who abuse ketamine at high doses every day for years often using it for recreational purposes may develop chronic mucoscal surface problems, most commonly bladder irritation that can become a chronic problem. However, with infusions, even if bladder irritation manifests transiently, it almost always resolves within a few minutes of turning off the infusion and does not return.
Office policies surrounding ketamine
Our clinic requires a ride home by a family member or friend at the end of the infusion. A “cabulance” designed to assist patients after ambulatory surgery who have no other means of getting home can also be acceptable. Taxis, Uber, or other means of casual/non-medical transportation by strangers are not acceptable.
We require patients have a one-on-one consultation before their treatment to see if they are the right candidate.
We will not begin or continue ketamine infusions if it is unsafe to do so as determined by on-site anesthesiologists.
Patients with significant psychiatric illness should have a connection with a psychiatrist to whom we can send our infusion notes. We can provide a referral if needed as we work with many community psychiatrists’ patients.