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Frequently Asked Questions On Ketamine

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a well-established medication commonly used for surgical anesthesia and pain relief.  Ketamine has been used to treat pain and have also been proven to be an effective therapy for the treatment of certain psychological disorders.

If you have tried multiple treatments for pain or mood disorders, but have had little success, ketamine infusion therapy may offer an effective alternative. Take a few minutes to learn about how this cutting-edge therapy can help you manage your symptoms and enjoy a happier, more active lifestyle.

Ketamine may improve pain associated with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly Reactive Sympathetic Dystrophy), Fibromyalgia, Neuropathic Pain, Migraine, and pain resistance to other therapies. Speak with one of our pain management professionals to learn more.

Mood disorders that may respond positively to Ketamine include Severe Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder that is stable, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Speak with your psychiatrist about whether Ketamine might benefit you.

What are the benefits of Ketamine infusion therapy?

As noted above, ketamine infusion therapy, as a treatment for chronic pain and mood disorders, is not considered a first line treatment option. When you have exhausted traditional therapies and medications, but have not been able to achieve adequate relief  ketamine infusions may help.

Opioid pain medications have become an epidemic in our society. If you are looking to become less dependent on opioids for chronic pain, IV ketamine infusions offer a controlled, often immediate reduction in pain.

With IV ketamine infusion therapy, it is possible to experience an improvement in your pain or mood within just a few hours after your appointment at Southeast Neurological Specialists. Studies indicate that if you feel an improvement from ketamine after the first 1-3 infusions, you are more likely to extend these positive effects with additional ketamine infusions over the course of several weeks. Our neurologist Dr. Jones and anesthesiologist Dr. Johnson will create a customized ketamine infusion therapy plan based on your individual needs and its effects on your illness.

Is There A Risk Of Addiction?

There is no evidence that ketamine infusion therapy causes addiction. Ketamine infusions use a lower dose than when taken recreationally and the clinical setting hinders the possibility of addiction.

Are There Possible Side Effects?

Unlike many other medications, ketamine has few side effects. During the infusions, ketamine can cause nausea, temporary hallucinations, and a lack of appetite. These are often very short-lived and mild. Patients sometimes feel tired and groggy after an infusion, but this typically resolves within 24 hours.

Do I Need a Referral?

Referrals are not required for pain treatment, however we require that you consult with Dr. Jones or Dr. Johnson to see if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you.

If you are interested in ketamine as a therapy to treat a mood disorder, we do require a referral from your psychiatrist and will collaborate with your referring provider to customize your program.  If your psychiatrist is providing you with other treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, we will work with your doctor to time your ketamine treatments to get the most out of your combined therapy. 

Are there any medications or health conditions that make ketamine infusions unsafe?

Ketamine may have interactions with some medications or doses of medications. Patients who are pregnant or nursing, with active drug and alcohol abuse, psychiatric illness including unstable bipolar disorder, mania, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders are not candidates for ketamine infusion therapy.

Patients with a history of substance abuse, pregnant or nursing, advanced liver disease, or with significant cardiovascular disease need to be carefully evaluated by our physicians to determine if you a safe fit for the treatment.

Can I eat and/or drink prior to my infusion?

We recommend not eating for 8 hours prior to your infusion. Ketamine increases the risk of nausea and vomiting which can result in aspiration which can be dangerous.

What Is The Process Like?

You will be assessed by our clinical team to determine if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you. At that time you can schedule an appointment for the infusion performed onsite at our clinic located at 1401 Oven Park Drive.  You will undergo a brief check-in process and complete our questionnaire. During the infusion, you will be in a comfortable chair and given eyeshades. We will also provide quiet music (you are welcome to bring your own headphones with listening device if you choose).  We will monitor your vitals periodically throughout the therapy.   An IV will be placed by our staff following which you will be given medication intravenously to help with comfort and any nausea you may experience during treatment.  The ketamine infusion will be administered slowly through the IV and can be stopped at any time. Experienced and caring staff will monitor you throughout the process. Following the infusion, you will be monitored for 1 hour to ensure you are safe to leave and complete our check-out process including an exit questionnaire and ensuring you have a ride to take you home.

We suggest going into the experience with your goals for treatment in mind. You will have an opportunity to discuss this in your initial visit. This makes the dissociative phase as beneficial as possible, as your brain works to repair itself. 

How Quickly Will I feel Relief?

Many patients feel relief within a few hours or days.  Many times people notice a gradual improvement as they go through the course of their treatments. 

What is the recommended course?

Patients usually undergo a series of infusions over 2-3 weeks to optimize therapy and may require follow up sessions as needed. The recommended course depends on multiple factors that differ from person to person. We will work with you to create a treatment plan that is optimal for you. 

What does Ketamine Infusion Therapy cost?

Ketamine therapy is not covered by insurance companies, however financing options are available

You will be charged a fee for initial consultation with either Dr. Jones or Dr. Johnson of $175.  However if you and your doctor feel Ketamine Infusion Therapy is right for you, we will credit the $175 to your first infusion session.

Treatment sessions range from $400 for a standard one hour session and there may be additional costs for a 3-4 hour session if you condition requires this.  Your physician will create an individual plan which typically includes 3 one-hour sessions per week for the first 2 weeks. A third week may be added if needed.  You will be evaluated at the end of each session to track the progress of your therapy and make adjustments to dosing as necessary for future treatments.    

Will I Be Able To Drive Home?

No, we will require you to have a driver present when we start the therapy, the driver does not need to remain throughout the duration of the treatment, however we will not release you until your driver arrives.  Our staff will collect driver’s number and call to let them know you are ready to go.

How can I get started?

If you are interested in ketamine infusion therapy, we are more than happy to talk to you. You can call us at (850) 391-0788 to schedule a consultation.

Have a question not answered by our Ketamine Therapy FAQs?

Please go to our website at and in the Ketamine tab you will be able to submit questions for doctors and staff.  Please allow us 2 business days to respond, but in most cases, it is much quicker.