Ketamine Services at MAC Wellness Center
The physicians of Mobile Anesthesia Care (MAC) have been providing IV ketamine infusions for hundreds of patients over the past several years in the Kansas City area. We focus on providing the highest quality of care in a safe, comforting, private environment. We are all board-certified anesthesiologists specializing in treating patients outside of the hospital setting.
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that came into clinical use in the 1960-70s. Ketamine has several benefits as an anesthetic, including cardiac and respiratory stability. Ketamine is considered a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it can cause an “out-of-body” experience. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, and hallucinations. In the early 2000s, researchers discovered ketamine’s effects on treating depression. Since that time, intravenous (IV) ketamine has been used widely for its rapid and relatively sustained effects on treating not only depression, but other disorders, as well, including bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Ketamine treatment protocols now typically consist of six infusions once per week (or sometimes given every 2-3 days over two weeks) administered over 40 minutes. A “booster” or maintenance infusion of ketamine is often given as necessary, dictated by patient response.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The Infusion Experience
After meeting our ketamine infusion criteria, you will be given instructions by the MAC Wellness Center team regarding what to expect on the first infusion day.
After arriving at our Center, you will be situated comfortably in one of our recliners, and our sedation-specialist registered nurse will place your IV. We will connect you to our monitors, including blood pressure, ECG, pulse oximetry, and respirations.
You will discuss the ketamine treatment protocol with one of our anesthesia physicians, and once ready to begin, we will provide you with a comfortable, private, quiet setting to optimize your ketamine experience.
Once the ketamine infusion is complete, you will spend about half an hour recovering before discharge home with a responsible adult.
Frequently Asked Questions
While some people see an instant relief of depression symptoms, more commonly there will be a slow, sustained improvement over the course of several infusions. We have seen an overall 70% response rate since 2016. Many patients do not notice any changes until days or weeks after the last treatment in their series.
We recommend a series of six ketamine infusions, given once a week. Some people will notice a return of symptoms, and then will return for a maintenance infusion or “booster” treatment. We tailor the specific ketamine dosage and infusion schedule to each patient.
We use a standard starting dose of 0.5 mg/kg over 40 minutes. Subsequent infusions will be based on your response to treatment and side effects of ketamine.
Most insurance companies will not pay for IV ketamine for the treatment of depression or other psychological condition. Please contact us by phone to obtain detailed payment information.
We do not require a referral from a psychiatrist or other physician. However, we will be in contact with your provider of mental health services to coordinate your care, verify your diagnosis, and optimize your therapy.
The most common side effect is nausea. Most patients will receive an antiemetic medication prior to ketamine infusion therapy to prevent nausea/vomiting. A rise in blood pressure is common during ketamine therapy, but is typically transient and does not require intervention. Some patients experience hallucinations or an out-of-body experience, but not usually severe enough to discontinue treatment.
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication and causes sedation/drowsiness even at the relatively low doses used for treatment of depression. It is necessary to have someone drive you home after your infusion. We also recommend that you take it easy after arriving home, do not operate heavy machinery, sign any contracts, or participate in sports activities or other potentially risky behaviors.
None of our patients have become addicted to ketamine. Ketamine has worked wonders for many people who are suffering despite treatment with multiple other modalities (antidepressant medications, transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy). IV Ketamine often becomes one treatment in an overall regimen that may include talk therapy, oral medications, and care by a primary care provider.