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What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a structural analog of the dissociative anesthetic and recreational drug phencyclidine (PCP).  Originally called CI-581, ketamine has one-tenth the potency of PCP and causes less severe dysphoria and hallucinations. [1]

Ketamine infusion cost is not cheap. It can cost between $400 and $2000 per infusion. Ketamine infusion therapy is not a first-line treatment for depression. Instead, it’s administered when antidepressant medications fail.

Intramuscular and intravenous ketamine is commonly used to provide pediatric anesthesia, especially for high-risk children or patients in limited-resource settings. In surgical settings, ketamine is typically combined with benzodiazepines, reducing the adverse psychological symptoms that occur during emergence. Off-label, subanesthetic doses of ketamine are also used for acute and chronic pain management, sedation, and severe depression treatment

Like its chemical cousin phencyclidine (PCP drug), ketamine’s psychomimetic effects have made it a popular recreational drug. In low doses, its euphoric and dissociative effects are sometimes referred to as “k-land,.” In contrast, at high doses, the immobilizing and hallucinogenic effects are referred to as being in a “k-hole.”

In the context of an illegal, recreational drug, ketamine goes by the street names “K,” “vitamin K,” “super K,” “special K,” “super C,” “special LA coke,” “jet,” “superacid,” and “green.”

Ketamine toxicity can cause various neurological, cardiovascular, psychiatric, urogenital, and abdominal symptoms that are dose-dependent, whether ketamine administration is in an iatrogenic or illicit context.

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What is Ketamines for Depression?

Major depressive illness is a debilitating condition that is a matter of concern worldwide, affecting millions of people and causing a considerable burden on health and socioeconomic status. [2] As per the World Health Organization, depression is third among the global disease burden.

Recently, ketamine has been used more widely due to its approval for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). TRD is a severe depression that has not improved via other therapies, including people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Ketamine Dose for Depression

The administration of slow i.v ketamine in patients with severe depression results in significant improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms immediately 1 h after a single dose. This effect is sustained with repeated six doses over 2 weeks. There is an overall decrease in illness severity after 2 weeks. This provides substantiative evidence for ketamine’s rapid and sustained effective role in depressive disorders and its tolerability at a subanesthetic dose of 0.5 mg/kg body weight by i.v bolus injection.  [3] Searching for “ketamines infusion cost” or “cost of ketamines for depression?” Ketamine for depression costs about $400 to $2000 for each session, depending on the location, the clinic, and what it’s treating.

Ketamine Infusion Cost
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Is Ketamine for Depression Addictive?

Yes, it can be addictive. Depression is a serious mood disorder with symptoms that include prolonged periods of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. The symptoms can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. Depression is usually treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination. The FDA approved ketamine to treat depression. However, it should be medically monitored or under professional supervision as it has addiction risks itself. [4] It is illegal to use Ketamine without a doctor’s prescription.

Ketamine (sold under the brand name Ketalar) is a schedule III controlled substance in the same category as Codeine and Anabolic Steroids. Schedule III substances can lead to physical dependence and are very likely to lead to psychological dependence. Ketamine is a Dissociative Hallucinogenic Tranquilizer that causes the user to experience a full-body buzz resulting in a pronounced sense of relaxation. This effect leads many people to abuse the drug.

Oral Ketamine for Depression

Intravenous (IV) ketamine has rapid and robust antidepressant effects. However, poor accessibility of the IV route often limits its use. Numerous alternative routes of administration are being investigated. Oral ketamine drug is particularly appealing for their ease of use and potential for high accessibility. A small number of clinical studies assessed the antidepressant effects of oral ketamine. Initial results suggest that oral ketamine has significant antidepressant effects with good overall tolerability. However, antidepressant effects are not as rapid as those associated with IV ketamine.

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How Much Do Ketamine Infusions Cost?

There’s a clear need for new treatments for major depressive disorder, and experts agree that ketamine holds the potential to treat depression and possibly other mental health conditions rapidly. Drug companies are testing similar medications for depression, suicidality, and bipolar disorder, but it hasn’t yet been approved for these conditions. Ketamine infusion cost is not cheap. It can cost between $400 and $2000 per infusion.

How It Works

The FDA approved a form of the drug ketamine to treat depression. Ketamine is a fast-acting antidepressant that relieves depressive symptoms in hours instead of weeks or longer than previous drugs required. In addition to being a major advance in treatment, ketamine allows researchers to investigate the short- and long-term biological changes underlying its effects on depression. [6]

Your mental health team may recommend ketamine therapy when you’ve exhausted other options. But, ketamine use without professional guidance can be dangerous. In some cases, the drug can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Other Brain Effects

ketamine treatment for depression side effects is effective and is FDA-approved. However, it has overdose risks. Ketamine overdose symptoms are similar to PCP overdose, although the effects of ketamine tend to resolve more quickly. Physical signs and symptoms are dose-dependent through the loss of consciousness.  Patients may be unable to provide a relevant history, and clinicians should seek pertinent clinical information from witnesses. Clinicians should also maintain familiarity with street names for ketamine.

The following side effects of ketamine treatment for depression symptoms may be present during ketamine addiction and use: 

  • General – sedation, impaired consciousness
  • Head, Ear, Eyes, Nose, Throat – horizontal, vertical or rotary nystagmus, mydriasis, excessive salivation 
  • Cardiovascular – hypertension, tachycardia, palpitations, arrhythmias, chest pain 
  • Abdominal – abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, nausea, vomiting 
  • Neurological – altered mental status (disorientation), paranoia, dysphoria, anxiety, confusion, slurred speech, dizziness, ataxia, dysarthria, trismus, muscular rigidity, psychomotor, psychomimetic, or acute dystonic reactions
  • Genitourinary – lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Trauma – a thorough examination for evidence of trauma is needed as injuries secondary to ketamine intoxication can occur due to the diminished perception of pain.
Ketamine Infusion Cost
Drug detox is the first essential step to start recovering from substance addiction.

Symptoms mostly unique to overdose, overly rapid infusion, or combined with other drugs include: 

  • Respiratory – respiratory depression, apnea
  • Cardiovascular – hypotension, bradycardia, myocardial infarction 
  • Neurological – seizure, stupor, coma 

Symptoms mostly unique to iatrogenic, intravenous delivery include:

  • Respiratory – respiratory depression, laryngospasm

Ketamine Addiction Signs

The following are signs that you, or someone you know, maybe struggling with an addiction to ketamine.

Psychological ketamines addictive symptoms:

  • Euphoria
  • Distorted perception of reality, space, and time
  • Floating/flying sensation
  • Entering into a trance-like state
  • Feeling detached from your body and surroundings, leading to an “out” of body experience or causing you to believe that you have died
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fear, paranoia, and intense confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t truly there)
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Consuming ketamine to try and relieve stress; can often be the trigger for many people who go on to become addicted to ket
  • Exacerbation of any existing mental health challenges

Behavioral and social symptoms of ketamine addiction:

  • Using ketamine regularly in your day-to-day life and feeling as though you are unable to function without it
  • Devoting an excessive amount of time to obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of ketamine consumption
  • Feeling as though you want to stop taking ketamine but finding that you are unable to
  • Inability to stop thinking about when, where, and how you will get your next fix of ketamine
  • Feeling as though ketamine has taken over your life
  • Taking ketamine has become more important than hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed
  • Continuing to take ketamine, even after experiencing negative consequences as a result of your ketamine abuse
  • Mixing ketamine with other addictive drugs or alcohol
  • Seeking out new ways to consume ketamine to experience a more intense ‘high’
  • Being defensive, dishonest, and secretive about your ketamine use
  • Withdrawing from loved ones leads to social isolation
  • Finding that you only tend to socialize with people who take ketamine or other drugs
  • People have noticed dramatic changes in your appearance or behavior as a result of your ketamine use
  • Neglecting your responsibilities due to being high on ket
  • Poor performance and attendance at work
  • Stealing money or selling valuables to pay for ketamine
  • Possession of paraphernalia related to injecting ketamine e.g. needles, syringes
  • Engaging in risky and reckless behaviors when under the influence of ketamine

Physical ketamine addiction symptoms:

  • Gradually building a tolerance to ketamine, meaning that you need to take higher doses of this drug and more frequently to experience the desired ‘high’
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking or significantly reduce your ketamine use
  • Scabs and bruises on the skin as a result of injecting ketamine
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Inability to feel pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing problems
  • Co-ordination problems

Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine in Depressed Patients

Emergency responders may give ketamine to an agitated patient who, for example, they have rescued from a suicide attempt. Ketamine infusions are the kind of ketamine treatment that your body absorbs the best, but they are not the only kind of ketamine treatment. Ketamine comes in several forms.

The only one that the FDA has approved as a medication for depression is a nasal spray called esketamine (Spravato). It’s for adults who either haven’t been helped by antidepressant pills, have a major depressive disorder, or are suicidal. They continue on their antidepressant and receive esketamine at a doctor’s office or clinic, where a healthcare provider watches over them for 2 hours after the dose.

For treatment-resistant depression, patients usually get the nasal spray twice a week for 1 to 4 weeks; then once a week for weeks 5 to 9; and then once every week or 2 after that.

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Is Ketamine Safe for Depression?

Ketamine works wonders for depression and fast. Some are also trying ketamine for bipolar depression. But it’s also addictive and potentially triggering for people in recovery. Furthermore, the cost of ketamine infusion is expensive. It’s proven to effectively treat severe depression that won’t respond to other medications. But because it affects so many receptor sites in the brain and causes hallucinations and other psychedelic effects, there’s much to consider. Looking how much does ketamine infusion cost? Ketamine’s infusion cost or ketamine infusion therapy cost for depression is usually between $400-$800 per treatment on average.

What Does Ketamine Therapy Feel Like?

It depends on the person. During the infusion, most patients experience a sensation of tranquility, ease, or relaxation. Some people claim to feel as though they are in a dreamlike state, which may cause them to feel disconnected from their bodies or more attuned to them.

Ketamine has a lengthy history of usage as a surgical and medicinal anesthetic. The dissociative quality of ketamine makes it possible for sedation during these operations. This dissociative quality “disconnects” the mind from the body by interfering with glutamate’s function as a neurotransmitter (also known as a brain chemical). Ketamine can provide patients with new sensations when administered for non-anesthetic indications. Patients experience dissociation and a “ketamine-induced non-ordinary state of consciousness” due to this attribute.

if you’re wondering how much does a ketamine infusion cost? The cost of ketamine infusions, “ketamines infusion for pain cost,” and the cost of ketamine infusion therapy range from $400 to $2000 for each session.

Are Ketamine Spas Legal? Is At-Home Ketamine Therapy an Option?

Results from the clinical trials on ketamine therapy show that at-home ketamine therapy is a secure and efficient technique to treat anxiety and depressive symptoms. While ketamine therapy may relieve some patients from anxiety or depression, doctors warn that additional study is still required to understand how it differs from more conventional therapies fully.

Physicians may prescribe ketamine, but they will still be subject to their state’s laws on licensure.

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Depression Treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, for the treatment of depression in adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but have not benefited from them (treatment-resistant depression). Because of the risk of serious adverse outcomes resulting from sedation and dissociation caused by the Spravato administration and the potential for abuse and misuse of the drug, it is only available through a restricted distribution system under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS).

How much ketamine infusion cost? The ketamine infusion cost is not cheap. Therefore, it is not highly accessible to everyone. One thing important to know as well is that most insurance types do not cover this depression treatment.

Unfortunately, ketamine addiction gained popularity when users discovered that it produced effects similar to those associated with PCP. Because of its anesthetic properties, ketamine also reportedly has been used by sexual predators to incapacitate their intended victims.

Ketamine Infusion Cost
It is possible to overdose on ketamine, which can cause serious long-term health issues and even death.

In either its powder or liquid forms, ketamine is mixed with beverages or added to smokable materials such as marijuana or tobacco. As a powder, the drug is snorted or pressed into tablets— often in combination with other drugs such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, also known as ecstasy). As a liquid, ketamine is injected; it often is injected intramuscularly. With these abuse risks, many who have depression develop dual diagnosis eventually without proper treatment management.

Fortunately, many accredited rehab centers now offer dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis is generally defined as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder simultaneously. 

A report [7] published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggested that there is a reason why people with mental disorders are up to two times as likely to develop substance abuse disorders:

  1. Certain drugs can cause abusers to suffer one or more symptoms of another mental illness.
  2. Mental illness may precipitate or hasten substance abuse. An individual suffering from symptoms of a mental illness may attempt to self-medicate.
  3. Drug use disorders and mental illnesses are caused by overlapping factors; genetic, deficits, and otherwise.

The good news is We Level Up FL can provide the highest quality of care in the beautiful tranquility of southeastern Florida. We Level Up Florida recognizes the intricacies of how depression and substance abuse disorders can result in a vicious cycle of addiction. That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the greatest chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

Get treatment for individuals struggling with depression, substance abuse, and mental health disorders. Call We Level Up FL Today!

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Sources:

[1] Orhurhu VJ, Vashisht R, Claus LE, et al. Ketamine Toxicity. [Updated 2022 Apr 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541087/

[2-3] Mandal S, Sinha VK, Goyal N. Efficacy of ketamine therapy in treating depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2019 Sep-Oct;61(5):480-485. DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_484_18. PMID: 31579184; PMCID: PMC6767816. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767816/

[4] How ketamine relieves symptoms of depression – National Institute of Health (NIH)
[5] Rosenblat JD, Carvalho AF, Li M, Lee Y, Subramanieapillai M, McIntyre RS. Oral Ketamine for Depression: A Systematic Review. J Clin Psychiatry. 2019 Apr 16;80(3):18r12475. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.18r12475. Erratum in: J Clin Psychiatry. 2020 Apr 22;81(2): PMID: 30995364. – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30995364/
[6] How ketamine relieves symptoms of depression – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-ketamine-relieves-symptoms-depression