Ketamine treatments

Posted by deadpoets @deadpoets, Sep 21, 2016

Does anyone have any experience with ketamine treatments? Either as part of a clinical trial or otherwise?

@gingerw

@lisalucier thank you for tagging me in this post. Unfortunately, I have not had any experience using ketamine at all for any reason so I cannot offer input. I do know anxiety and PTSD can be stifling and life-altering. And any means to alleviate helps, knowing that each person is different.
Ginger

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Thank You Lisa.

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I went through the IV ketamine treatments about 3 weeks ago. It cleared up the major depression that I have had for 30 years. I am no longer on medication for depression and am working on getting my anxiety under control. It has been a dramatic change in how I feel. Now I am trying to put my life back together. It was $2,400 for the six treatments since it wasn't covered by insurance but it was the best money I have spent. I wish it had been available years ago.

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I am trying to start esketamine treatments for depression/anxiety, which is long-term without medication relief. Does anyone know how Medicare is handling these claims, in general?
Thanks for any responses.

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@mandrake70

I went through the IV ketamine treatments about 3 weeks ago. It cleared up the major depression that I have had for 30 years. I am no longer on medication for depression and am working on getting my anxiety under control. It has been a dramatic change in how I feel. Now I am trying to put my life back together. It was $2,400 for the six treatments since it wasn't covered by insurance but it was the best money I have spent. I wish it had been available years ago.

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@mandrake70 , I'm interested to know if you are still doing ketamine infusions? I started doing them last August as well. They worked great for a couple of months. Even when I went in every 2-3 weeks, they stopped working, for the most part. I've had a lot of major life stressors, like both of my parents dying within 3 months of each other. I think the stress of all that's gone on for me in the past few years has made my brain unable to repair itself. I realized that where I was going was a ketamine mill. They never monitored my dosing and left me alone in the room, even after removing the needle. I am considering going to a clinic that is much more careful and meticulous about dosing and their patients' mental health status all throughout the treatments. I wanted to see how you're doing a year later. Thanks in advance.

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Hi @kelster69, I am sorry to hear they are no longer working. It does sound like the clinic you are going to isn't a good one. That is an issue with insurance not covering this and a lot of doctor's not recognizing that it works for some people. The fact that it did seem to work initially would seem to me like it should keep working though you are going through a real crappy time. My cousin also does the ketamine IVs every three months and then uses the nasal spray in between treatments. That could be an option.
The death of your parents is enough to set anyone into a depression. It's possible that the ketamine is still working for you, but that you are going through a natural grieving process right now which feels just like depression. I'm not a psychiatrist so I could be completely wrong here. I do remember being told that the ketamine will help but if you are going through a lot of stressors, you can fall right back into depression even with the treatments. Are you seeing a therapist or someone to talk to about the grief and other issues? Medication can do a lot but so can talking to people about the problems.
As for how I am doing, I got back with my wife for almost a year and then she was right back to the same crap as before, though with yelling at my daughter for getting a 4 instead of a 5 on her AP global exam. The ketamine is working fine for me still. I am actually handling things better though I still have a lot of down days. Those down days are still so much better than before. I go to a pretty good clinic in Rochester, NY. I do wish that the FDA would approve the treatment but there isn't any money for big pharma so there won't be any trials done.
I really hope that you can find some relief from the depression.

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@pankaj

To @hopeful123: Many thanks for posting the info. on Ketamine nasal spray. You are very lucky to have access to it. I am waiting for it to be available in the pharmacy after FDA approval. Don't know when that will happen. Hope and pray it happens soon. Thanks.

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Is the nasal spray a milder form of the infusion? I was told infusion requires hospital stay for observation. Does nasal spray require hospitalization?

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@marjou The nasal spray uses one of the ketamine molecules while the IV infusion uses two so it is possible that the nasal infusion won't work for you but the IV will. I went with the IV since it was available and had better results. If doesn't require a hospital stay. I go to the clinic with a family member so they can drive me home. I go in, get the treatment which lasts about an hour, and go home. The nasal spray, from what I recall reading, also requires you go into the clinic or doctor's office, be treated, and then driven home. There was some talk about having the nasal spray available for home use but the belief was that people would abuse it like Special K.

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@deadpoets

Thank you :). I’m exploring it in connection with treatment resistant (Major Depressive Disorder) or MDD.

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I have MDD. I had 2 ketamine infusions and did not respond. I was more depressed as I put so much hope and faith into it. Many people have had success though.

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@dcs3

I have MDD. I had 2 ketamine infusions and did not respond. I was more depressed as I put so much hope and faith into it. Many people have had success though.

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Hi @dcs3, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am glad you could join our conversation. I am sad to hear the infusions did not work for you, but you have come to the right place to share your experiences with members that have similar medical history. For those who don't know, can you explain what MDD is?

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MDD is major depression disorder. Most MDD is treatment resistant. I have tried most every drug and every treatment to no avail. The older I have gotten the worse it has become. Honestly, I have zero quality of life and no purpose I can see. My children don’t speak to me. They haven’t in years. No real friends. I merely exist. Mental illness truly can take ones life away.
No I’m not suicidal. Amongst all things I lack….courage is one of them. It just is what it is.

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@mandrake70

@marjou The nasal spray uses one of the ketamine molecules while the IV infusion uses two so it is possible that the nasal infusion won't work for you but the IV will. I went with the IV since it was available and had better results. If doesn't require a hospital stay. I go to the clinic with a family member so they can drive me home. I go in, get the treatment which lasts about an hour, and go home. The nasal spray, from what I recall reading, also requires you go into the clinic or doctor's office, be treated, and then driven home. There was some talk about having the nasal spray available for home use but the belief was that people would abuse it like Special K.

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Appreciate this info. Thanks

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@dcs3

MDD is major depression disorder. Most MDD is treatment resistant. I have tried most every drug and every treatment to no avail. The older I have gotten the worse it has become. Honestly, I have zero quality of life and no purpose I can see. My children don’t speak to me. They haven’t in years. No real friends. I merely exist. Mental illness truly can take ones life away.
No I’m not suicidal. Amongst all things I lack….courage is one of them. It just is what it is.

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@dcs3 It's like we're living in each other's lives or body! I understand exactly what you describe! I am going to try medical marijuana but awaiting card. Thank you for sharing!

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