Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need to be referred by a psychiatrist?
No. Neuragain doctors are experienced psychiatric professionals. Each patient meets with a Neuragain physician before beginning treatment. If you are currently being treated by another psychiatrist or physician, he or she may want to consult with your Neuragain doctor to monitor your progress.
2. Where is the treatment performed?
All treatment is outpatient and is performed in the professional offices of doctors who are part of our specialized network.
3. Will Ketamine Therapy help my treatment resistant depression or anxiety?
Based on our clinical experience since 2013 and with thousands of patients, more than 75% of all patients can expect significant and sustained relief. Of course, we cannot predict any individual’s results. We believe that IV ketamine therapy provided by a Neuragain physician offers you the best chance of success. Many patients who significantly improve with IV ketamine therapy have failed a considerable number of alternative therapies (including SSRIs, ECT, TMS, etc.).
4. How many ketamine infusions will I receive?
All new patients receive a series of six infusions.
5. What happens after my series of ketamine infusions?
Following the initial series of infusions, most patients choose, in consultation with their doctors, to begin a maintenance program, returning for single infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient and often increases over time (infusions are required less frequently). Typically these maintenance infusions are scheduled once or twice a year as necessary..
6. If ketamine therapy works for me how soon will I begin to feel better?
A very small group of patients will begin to feel better within hours of the first infusion. Patients with thoughts of self-harm often notice those thoughts dissipating first. There can be a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness. Most patients do not notice any mood or anxiety level improvement until their third or fourth infusion. Almost all patients who will respond notice significant improvement after a series of six infusions.
7. Will I require ketamine infusions for the rest of my life?
No. Some patients achieve very long-term relief after a series of infusions. Most require infusions less frequently as time goes on.
8. What should I expect during ketamine therapy?
Ketamine is administered over a period of 40 minutes. The dose is determined by your weight. The amount of ketamine administered is not enough to cause a loss of consciousness, so you will remain awake. During the infusion some patients experience elevated perceptions—like seeing bright colors. Some report what is referred to as a “mildly dissociative” or “waking dreamlike” feeling. Virtually all patients tolerate the infusions very well and many people find them pleasant. Once the infusion is complete, the dissociative effects rapidly dissipate. There are no delayed effects and patients generally leave the office within 10 minutes following the infusion and feel quite normal.
9. Are there other side effects I should be concerned about?
No. Because of the very low dosage of ketamine used therapeutically there are minimal to no side effects.
10. What medical conditions could keep me from receiving ketamine?
There are very few. Your Neuragain provider will thoroughly review your medical history and discuss contraindications with you before you receive your first infusion.
11. Are ketamine infusions addictive?
No. All Neuragain providers follow an evidence-based protocol with dosages that are not addictive.
12. Can I drive myself home after the therapy?
You cannot drive or operate dangerous equipment after receiving ketamine therapy as your reflexes and reaction times can be slightly impacted for several hours after an infusion. You should plan for a ride home.
13. Can I eat or drink before my appointment?
You cannot eat for the 4 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. You may have clear liquids up until 2 hours before your appointment.
14. Will my current psychiatric medications interfere with ketamine treatment?
Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclics) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop them. Important: You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescribing physician.
15. Will my insurance company pay for ketamine therapy?
Insurance companies do not provide reimbursement for IV ketamine therapy.