FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic first synthesized in 1962, and then used in Vietnam to treat injured soldiers. In the past two decades, it has become a sedation agent of choice in kids having painful procedures performed in the emergency department due to its unique safety profile and effectiveness.

How Does Ketamine Work?

The exact mechanism of action is still unknown, but we do know that Ketamine blocks some receptors and activates others to produce its overall effect on the body and mind. Glutamate is the major neurotransmitter of the brain and these types of neurons are especially activated. The specific effects are very dose dependent.

Is Ketamine Safe?

In contrast to opiates, which suppress breathing and circulation, Ketamine preserves good vital signs and function making it extremely safe in skilled hands. At SKC, we always have a highly skilled physician present during your infusion.

What Does It Feel Like To Have An Infusion of Ketamine?

Most report feelings of euphoria and a “dream-like” state during the course of their infusion, and this feeling subsides quickly after the therapy is over, allowing you to leave with your “buddy” shortly after therapy is over.

Will A Ketamine Infusion Make Me "High"?

Our goal is not to make our patient “high”, but rather to achieve maximum benefit with the fewest side effects. Use of street ketamine WILL NOT achieve good results due to the amount ingested being very unpredictable and well outside known safety levels, and the unwanted side effects almost certain.

How Long Does The Benefit of a Ketamine Infusion Last?

This is different for patients depending on the condition treated, as we are all unique in our receptor composition. Those choosing an SKC Induction Series can expect benefit to last weeks to months. As with most therapies, maintenance dosing is required for ongoing benefit.

How is Ketamine Given?

At SKC, we infuse Ketamine intravenously (IV) at “sub-dissociative” doses over a 40-minute period for most mood disorders, and occasionally longer infusions are appropriate for neuropathic pain conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, and Fibromyalgia.

What is the Frequency of SKC Maintenance Therapy?

As with most therapies, SKC Ketamine Maintenance Therapy will require adjustment over time to ensure sustained benefit. For most, this means additional Ketamine given every 4-8 weeks.

Why Is It Called a Horse Tranquilizer?

Veterinary doctors have long used Ketamine given its safety profile to sedate animals, especially horses, either in the clinic or in the field for procedures. Its expanded use in humans has been shown to be equally safe in multiple large studies.

Does My Insurance Cover the Cost?

Ketamine is FDA approved for some conditions in hospitalized patients, but considered “off-label” for those receiving it in strategically low therapeutic doses at SKC.  Typically, insurance will not cover the cost of therapy, but it is considered a valid HSA expense.

Can I Go To My Regular Doctor for Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine should always be administered by a highly trained physician comfortable with management of unforeseen complications that lead to vital sign impairment. These complications are very rare, but this is why your regular physician does not administer Ketamine.

Can My Regular Doctor Easily Refer Patients to Sierra Ketamine Clinics?

The SKC provider portal allows your doctor to quite easily, and with much attention to privacy, refer you for consultation. Should you receive therapy, we can communicate (with your permission) some or all aspects of your response immediately back to your doctor so they can follow your progress.

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