Frequently Asked Questions - Intravenous Infusion Therapy
What is an infusion?
It is a very simple procedure, an IV will be started in your arm or leg and a bag of normal saline mixed with the medication will be slowly given to you.
What conditions can you treat?
Persons with neuropathic pain that is not well controlled with injections, nerve blocks, or prescription pain medication. Examples of this kind of pain are trigeminal neuralgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS/RSD), phantom limb pain, diabetic and other neuropathies, post-herpetic neuralgia, and some headaches.
- Persons with chronic back and neck pain no longer responsive to any form of treatment.
- Persons with debilitating fibromyalgia.
- Persons with severe depression.
Is Infusion Therapy Right for me?
If you suffer from chronic pain that has not responded to medication or other traditional treatment modalities, then infusion therapy may be an option for you. The procedure is easy to administer and essentially pain free. There will be an initial evaluation with your doctor to see if infusion therapy is right for you
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is an FDA approved anesthetic drug that has been used in hospitals worldwide since the 1960’s. In the last few years numerous articles in medical journals have shown efficacy in using ketamine in sub-anesthetic doses to treat depression and some chronic pain syndromes.
Ketamine's anesthetic effects are mediated by interactions with a member of the glutamate receptor family, the NMDA receptor. It interacts with other receptors as well, including opioid receptors, dopamine receptors; and a receptor known as the AMPA receptor, thought to be an important component of its antidepressant effects.
How long is the infusion?
Depends on your diagnosis and protocol, most of the infusions will be 1 hr. After the infusion you will stay for another 30 minutes to recover. If you have CRPS/RSD your infusion will be longer 3-4 hours usually
Will I be awake?
Yes, the dose that we use will not put you to sleep.
What to expect during the infusion?
Some possible side-effects include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and hallucinations, these are rare and dose related, they can be treated immediately to make your experience as pleasant as possible. Within 15 minutes of ending the infusion your mind will be clear. There are no delayed “flashbacks.”
How many infusions will I need?
The response to treatment varies. Most patients require several treatments and the amount of medication and the number of infusions required depends on both the medication and the protocol being used. Some people respond immediately, but most will not feel the true benefit until several treatments have been administered.
Will I get better?
It is possible to undergo ketamine infusion therapy and have no beneficial effect. Patients must make their own decision to voluntarily proceed knowing it may have no beneficial effect. However the data from many practitioners show that up to 70% of the patients will have significant improvement of their symptoms.
Can I get addicted?
Because it is used as a “party drug” there is a legitimate worry about addiction potential. Studies and clinical experience have found that in the very low doses used, medical setting, lack of access at home, and infrequent dosing, there is virtually no potential for addiction or abuse.
Do I need a referral?
Yes, we require a note from your treating provider, you will need to fill the initial form and will be seen for an initial consultation, all your documents/labs will be reviewed and we will determine if you are a candidate for IV infusions. If you are a Pain Medicine Consultants patient you don’t need a referral.
Do I need to stop my medications?
We recommend that you don’t take Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, or Klonopin, and amphetamine-based stimulants, such as Adderall or Ritalin the day of treatment.
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.
Do I need someone with me?
You will need a responsible adult to take you home after your infusion you will not be able to drive for 12 hours after the infusion.
Can I eat before the infusion?
We require that you don’t eat any solid food 8 hours before your infusion, you are allowed to have clear liquids such as water, clear broth, apple juice or clear tea/coffee (no milk or leaves) up to 2 hours prior to your appointment.
How much does it cost?
It depends on the length of the infusion, in general for the 1 hour infusion the cost is 500 USD all fees included, there is a 250 USD initial evaluation fee that will be credited to your first infusion. You will be required to put a 200 USD deposit when you book the infusion, the rest will be paid the day of treatment.
Will my insurance cover or reimburse me?
We do not participate in any insurance plans and will not bill them on your behalf. We can provide you the necessary forms for you to submit to your insurance company after treatment for reimbursement to the extent that they will cover this service. We can’t guarantee that your insurance will reimburse you the total or partial amount.