What is Ketamine?


 Ketamine is a safe, effective anesthetic discovered in 1962 that has been in widespread use since 1970 . Multiple studies and trials run at prestigious universities and hospitals since the 1990's have shown that ketamine is exceptionally effective in treating treatment-resistant depression, and other disorders such as PTSD, OCD, neuropathic pain and other mood disorders. Unlike standard antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs which can take weeks to work, ketamine is fast-acting and can sometimes show immediate efficacy after a single dose. Because of its fast-acting nature, ketamine can be an extremely important tool in preventing suicide and immediately alleviating suffering.  

Is Ketamine FDA approved?

 Ketamine is approved by the FDA as an anesthetic.  Recently Spravato (esketamine)  an isomer of ketamine has been FDA approved for the treatment of depression.  Both Ketamine (non-FDA approved for depression) and Spravato (FDA approved for depression) are available at Confluence Psychiatry.  Both are effective for the treatment of depression.  Ketamine is less expensive, however coverage for Spravato may be available through insurance.

What is the treatment like?

The medication is administered as an injection or as an intra-nasal spray and takes effect rapidly. Massage chairs and music are available to make the experience more pleasant.   Most patients experience a mild dissociation or inner reflective experience that is generally well tolerated and often quite enjoyable, patients remain awake. If you find it unpleasant in any way, we can make adjustments to minimize or eliminate any unpleasant sensations. You will be monitored by staff during the procedure. Your thinking may be a bit cloudy and your walk a bit unsteady for an hour or so after treatment. You may also find that you will be somewhat tired for several hours. The treatment including recovery time takes a total of 2 hours. 

What is the cost of treatment?

Each patient receives a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to determine the underlying diagnosis and to determine the initial treatment plan which is comprehensive in nature.  This includes the first treatment and is 350$  Each subsequent Ketamine treatment is 250$. While we do not accept insurance, some insurance companies will cover all or a portion of the treatment as an “out of network” service. We will provide the necessary forms to submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement.

Can I take other medications for depression?

Antidepressants can and often should be continued during treatment. Dr. Shuman is a psychiatrist and can provide therapy and well as a comprehensive medication evaluation to determine the best medications to take during the treatment.  Dr. Shuman also can provide genetic testing to evaluate which psychiatric medications are likely to work for you.

Will someone need to accompany me?

 You do not need anyone to accompany you.  We  recommend making transportation arrangements to and from the treatment as you should not drive or operate machinery until the day after treatment. 

Contact Us

Confluence Psychiatry PLLC

1127 Auraria Parkway #7, Denver, Colorado 80204, United States