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How to Talk to Your Doctor About Ketamine Infusion Therapy

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If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or addiction, you may have heard about ketamine infusion therapy as a potential treatment option. Ketamine is a medication that has been used for decades as an anesthetic. Still, more recently, it has been shown to have rapid and lasting antidepressant and anti-inflammatory effects in low doses. Ketamine infusion therapy involves receiving a series of intravenous (IV) injections of ketamine under medical supervision, usually in an outpatient clinic. 

Ketamine infusion therapy can help people who have not responded well to other treatments, such as antidepressants, psychotherapy, or pain medications. Studies have reported that up to 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression experience a significant improvement in their symptoms after ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine can also reduce suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and substance cravings.

However, ketamine infusion therapy is not widely available or covered by most insurance plans. It is also not a first-line treatment for most mental health or pain conditions. If you are interested in trying ketamine infusion therapy, you need to talk to your doctor first. Here are some reasons why talking to your doctor is essential and some tips on preparing for the conversation.

Benefits of talking to your doctor About Ketamine

Your doctor is your primary healthcare provider and knows your medical history, current medications, and treatment goals. Talking to your doctor about ketamine infusion therapy can help you:

A referral is a great way to go

Your doctor can refer you to a reputable ketamine clinic or a specialist who can assess your eligibility and suitability for ketamine infusion therapy. You may need to meet specific criteria, such as having a diagnosis of treatment-resistant depression, chronic pain, or addiction, and have tried other treatments without success.

Having a diagnosis will be helpful

Your doctor can help you confirm or rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing or contributing to your symptoms. Some conditions, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or liver disease, may make you ineligible or increase the risks of ketamine infusion therapy. 

Getting a diagnosis from a healthcare provider can help you get insurance coverage for your treatment. Insurance companies often need documentation of a diagnosed medical condition before covering specific therapies.

By getting a diagnosis from your doctor, you not only help assess your eligibility and safety for ketamine infusion therapy but also improve the chances of getting insurance coverage for your treatment.

Importance of a treatment plan

Your doctor can help you develop a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan that includes ketamine infusion therapy and other interventions, such as medication, psychotherapy, or lifestyle changes. Ketamine infusion therapy is not a standalone treatment and works best when combined with other therapies that address the root causes of your problems.

Prescription for Nasal, versus IV

Your doctor can prescribe you ketamine nasal spray (Spravato), which is an FDA-approved medication for treatment-resistant depression that can be used at home under supervision. Spravato is similar to ketamine infusion therapy but less invasive and more accessible. However, it is also expensive and may have more side effects than IV ketamine.

A second opinion may be helpful

Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of ketamine infusion therapy and compare it with other treatment options. Some providers may not be as informed about ketamine treatments, you can reach out to a clinic like Avesta that can answer specific questions and collaborate with your provider. Tips for preparing for the conversation

Talking to your doctor about ketamine infusion therapy can be challenging, especially if you are feeling depressed, anxious, or hopeless. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the conversation and make it more productive and comfortable:

Do some research

Before you talk to your doctor, research ketamine infusion therapy and its benefits, risks, and costs. You can use reputable sources like scientific journals, medical websites, or patient testimonials. You can also visit the website of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians (ASKP), which provides information and resources on ketamine infusion therapy.

At Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, we prioritize long-term collaboration with healthcare providers. We work closely with referring physicians and specialists to ensure comprehensive and personalized care for each patient. This commitment to collaboration ensures that our patients receive the highest treatment and support on their journey to wellness.

Write down your questions and concerns

Prepare a list of questions and concerns you want to ask your doctor about ketamine infusion therapy. For example, you can ask:

  • How does ketamine infusion therapy work?
  • What are the risks and side effects of ketamine infusion therapy?
  • How long does each session last, and how many do I need?
  • How much does ketamine infusion therapy cost, and will my insurance cover it?
  • How do I find a qualified and trustworthy ketamine clinic or provider?
  • What are the alternatives to ketamine infusion therapy?
  • How do I monitor my progress and outcomes after ketamine infusion therapy?

Bring a friend or family member for support

Talking to your doctor about ketamine infusion therapy can be stressful and emotional. You may benefit from having a friend or family member who can accompany you to the appointment, provide support, take notes, ask questions, or remind you of important points.

Choose a comfortable time and place

Schedule your appointment with your doctor at a time and place that is convenient and comfortable for you. Avoid times when you feel tired, hungry, rushed, or distracted. Choose a place for privacy and confidentiality, such as your doctor’s office or a quiet room.

Talk to your doctor about Avesta Ketamine and Wellness!

Ketamine infusion therapy is a promising treatment for people who suffer from treatment-resistant mood disorders, chronic pain, and addictions. However, it is not a magic bullet and requires careful consideration and consultation with your doctor. If you are interested in trying ketamine infusion therapy, talk to your doctor about it and follow these tips to prepare for the conversation. You may find that ketamine infusion therapy can offer you the hope and relief you have been looking for and improve the chances of getting insurance coverage for your treatment.Ready to explore the transformative potential of ketamine infusion therapy? Contact Avesta Ketamine and Wellness today to take the next step toward relief and hope. Consult with our experienced practitioners to start your journey toward a brighter future. Your path to healing begins here!

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