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Ketamine and Depression

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.

Ketamine Referral 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.

Seattle Psychiatric referral list PDF

What conditions does ketamine treat?
Ketamine infusions may help patients with treatment resistant severe depression, bi-polar depression, PTSD,  major depressive disorder.  It should be noted that ketamine infusion therapy does not guarantee success with your depression.  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.

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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 affect my current medications?

Any dose of benzodiazepine medication is detrimental to ketamine therapy.  This will make ketamine treatment ineffective.  You must be completely off of any benzodiazepine for a period of 14 days before starting ketamine.  We will provide a urine drug screen to insure all metabolites are out of your bloodstream. 

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 occur.  These 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.


How long does ketamine infusion therapy last?

Initial series of 6 infusions will take place every other day for a period of 12-14 days.  Although we don’t recommend varying too much from this treatment protocol we will customize the treatments to help meet your personal and travel needs.  Subsequent single booster infusions may be required to keep your symptoms at bay.  Resolution of symptoms may last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.

Does insurance cover ketamine infusion treatments?

Currently ketamine infusion therapy is NOT a covered benefit by any insurance plan since it’s an off-label use of this medication.  We can only accept cash or credit cards.  We can not accept checks of any kind.

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