Ketamine and Chronic Pain Syndromes
Do I need a referral in order to have ketamine therapy?
To become a patient at our clinic we will need a referral completed by your current psychiatrist and a copy of your last visit clinic notes. This must be an MD or a DO physician. We can NOT accept referrals from ANY other mental health care providers incl. MHNP, therapists or psychologists.
We will require that the referral be renewed on a monthly basis by your psychiatrist.
Below is a link to a blank referral form as a PDF.
How do I get started?
You will be required to maintain ongoing regular contact with your Psychiatrist, M.D. or O.D. during your series of ketamine infusions. We will be contacting them to confirm your diagnosis. You will also need to download and complete BOTH, a brief health questionnaire and a release of medical information form found under the FORMS tab above. After you FAX or email us the forms back our clinic staff will contact you to schedule your first appointment.
If you don’t have a psychiatrist currently, below is a list of psychiatrists we work with regularly in the Seattle area.
What conditions does ketamine treat?
Ketamine infusions may help some patients with Reflex sympathetic dystrophy now called Complex regional pain syndrome. It should be noted that ketamine infusion therapy does not guarantee success with your pain. It is possible to undergo ketamine infusion therapy and have no beneficial effect. This course of treatment is purely elective. Patients must make their own decision to voluntarily proceed knowing it may have no beneficial effect. However thousands of patients treated with ketamine have shown significant improvement in their symptoms. The highest chances for successful treatment begins with a proper diagnoses.
How long does ketamine infusion take?
A typical treatment plan for CRPS/RSD is a series of increasing doses of ketamine infusions over a 3-5 day schedule. Which is then repeated the following week. Each infusion session is anywhere between 4-6 hrs. in duration.
More than one series of infusions may be required to achieve resolution of symptoms.
As a guideline the more days of ketamine therapy in a row the better resolution of symptoms. However each patient disease is different and we work with you to determine a treatment plan that works with your situation. Some patients may do well with a less intensive treatment plan but CRPS and RSD require intensive therapy.
Does insurance cover ketamine infusion treatments?
We can only accept cash or credit cards. We can not accept checks of any kind.
There is an 80% deposit required when we schedule your infusion appointment. Remainder of the balance due will be paid on the day of your infusion.All payments can be made by cash or credit card. We accept VISA and MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS.
Our clinic is under no obligation to pursue reimbursement on the patient’s behalf. We will provide you with documentation of your infusion visits, insurance codes, and treatment plan. Its between you and your insurance plan how much if any amount will be reimbursed to you.
Please bring your medical records and new patient information form.
Is ketamine addictive?
Addiction has not been described in ketamine infusion therapy given the dose used, treatment schedule, supervised medical setting and lack of withdrawal symptoms.
Ketamine has a proven track record of being an FDA-approved anesthetic medication since the mid 1960’s.
Will ketamine treatment effect my current medications?
High doses of benzodiazepines will likely make ketamine therapy ineffective. You will need to talk with your prescribing physician about your benzodiazepine use. Patients on MAOI’s should also not take ketamine. You should consult with your prescribing doctor before starting or stopping ANY medication.
What medical conditions will exclude me from ketamine treatment? Any medical condition that is not well managed would preclude you from treatment. Uncontrolled high blood pressure, or any serious cardiac or respiratory conditions need to be disclosed to avoid complications. Dr. Abreu will review all your conditions and medications with you when he goes over your patient health questionnaire.
What are the side effects of ketamine?
Some patients have reported mild dissociative symptoms during their infusions which are short lived. While not usually unpleasant some effects of floating, blurry visual changes, and dizziness can be treated with other medications to make your infusion be a pleasant experience and not scary.
Can I drive to my infusion appointment?
The ketamine infusion produces a mental state which makes it unsafe for you to drive a car or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after your infusion. So it is mandatory that a trusted friend or family member accompany you to all your infusion appointments. They will be expected to transport you to and from your appointment.