Denver, CO (303) 921-8228 | Green Bay, WI (920) 510-9381

Denver, CO (303) 921-8228

Green Bay, WI (920) 510-9381

Common Questions

Absolutely. Ketamine has been used safely for decades in emergency rooms, operating rooms, and in the military around the world. At avIVa, we have extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of ketamine and know how to carefully administer it. The dose is low and given as a slow infusion so you remain awake. As we are expert anesthesia providers, you can trust that you are in good hands. We vigilantly monitor your infusions and know how to manage the extreme rare event of a complication. When administered by a highly trained anesthesia provider, ketamine therapy is a safe and effective treatment for mood disorders and chronic pain.

Ketamine has been used since the 1960’s and is an FDA approved anesthetic that is legally prescribed by trained providers. Treatment of depression, other mood disorders, and chronic pain is considered “off-label” use. Approximately 30% of all medications prescribed are considered off-label use. Since the drug is over 60 years old and is off patent, no one pharmaceutical company is allowed to claim a revenue stream. As a result, drug companies don’t invest money into ketamine to provide the billions of dollars of research studies the FDA requires to say it is indicated for treatment.

A meta-analysis of multiple research studies has demonstrated that 70% or more of treatment resistant patients will experience significant symptom relief after receiving the initial round of six low-dose infusions. This is a drastic improvement compared to the 40% success rate of traditional antidepressant medications. However,  even with such a high success rate, it is important to note that ketamine therapy does not work for everyone.

Ketamine has been shown to be extremely effective in providing relief of chronic nerve pain. It is a potent analgesic but has a different mechanism of action compared to opioids. Ketamine therapy can help patients to significantly decrease their opioid requirements, while some patients will no longer require opioids at all.

Yes, we have seen great results using ketamine therapy for all of these conditions. However, just as with treatment for depression, we can not guarantee that it will work for everyone.

While the majority of patients will experience notable symptom relief after their first infusion, others may experience a more gradual improvement. This is a dramatic difference compared to the typical 6-8 week onset of most oral antidepressant medications.

Research has shown that an initial series of 6 infusions given over a two week period provides the greatest symptom relief. You will then enter the “maintenance phase” and return for booster infusions when you feel that the effects of the ketamine are starting to wear off.

Every patient is unique. The duration of relief between infusions varies from person to person. Some patients will have relief for 1-2 months while others have longer lasting relief of 3-6 months. We do not require you to come in regularly for boosters as other clinics do. They are available as you feel they are needed. This is why ongoing mood monitoring is so important.

Ketamine infusions are extremely well tolerated. It is possible, though uncommon, to experience dizziness or mild nausea. We have IV anti-nausea medications that we can give you if you need them at any time. Hallucinations are a frequent concern, however, with the low doses used, it is extremely rare.

Unless otherwise specified by your doctor, you should continue to take your regular medications. Ketamine therapy often enables one to decrease or completely stop their oral medications. We will collaborate with your provider to guide you through any changes to your medication regimen.

If you prefer to bring someone, they are welcome, but you do not need anyone to accompany you. If you do bring someone, they are welcome to wait in the waiting room or join you in the infusion room. However, even if you arrive alone, you will still require a ride home and will not be able to drive a car for the rest of the day.

Your initial phone consultation will be free. The fee for the infusion will depend on whether you are receiving a mood or pain infusion. Mood infusions are $375 each. The fee for chronic pain infusions is determined by the length of infusion needed. We accept all payment methods, but unfortunately we do not accept insurance or Medicare. However, we are happy to provide the forms for you to submit to your insurance company. We have seen that there are a few companies that provide some amount of reimbursement. We are unfortunately unable to provide forms for Medicare reimbursement.

We provide financing options through Advanced Care Card.  It is a medical treatment financing company that provides 0% interest for 6-12 months for medical treatments.  For details please visit their website at carecredit.com or call them directly at 1-800-677-0718.

Ketamine works in an entirely different way compared to common antidepressant medications. It inhibits NMDA receptors in your brain and leads to increased neuronal activity and the formation of new neuronal connections. This is also why results are seen so much faster with ketamine therapy. Traditional antidepressants take a long time to start working as it takes time for new neurons to form. Ketamine, on the other hand, works by increasing communication between existing neurons.

Though ketamine has been abused and used recreationally, there is no evidence that ketamine is addictive. When given in a clinical environment with controlled administration and dosing, the risk of abuse is exceedingly low.

Possibly. It depends on what your employer tests. If you are a current patient of ours and require a drug test, we will gladly provide records of your infusions, upon your request.