Questions to ask about ketamine infusions

Posted by Shirley Hugh-Jesst @audriana, Aug 4, 2021

Hello…I'm hanging in there, following my psychiatrist's titration schedule of Savella as an antidepressant…lots of side effects. Suicidal ideations have decreased. I did spend the weekend at CFVMC due to TIAs. I had a solid cardiac work up: stress test & echo…all negative for a heart attack and blockages.
Today, at my psychiatrist's appointment, he suggested that I call a self-pay facility specializing in ketamine infusions located in Fayetteville NC.
I'm hoping to get some feedback from this group.
What questions should I ask?
What concerns should I express?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Such a good question to ask fellow members, @audriana.

I'm tagging @mandrake70 @spluck @happy2bhear @racox @fatsfat @biomedeng to see if they have some tips about what questions to ask. In the meantime, here's an article to get you started:
– 10 Important Ketamine Infusion Questions To Ask Any Ketamine Clinic: https://kureiv.com/ketamine-infusion-questions/

Audriana, what is your top question that is important for you to know?

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First most important is your Psychopharmacologist going to be the one in charge of you during the time you are taking it?
Why won’t he prescribe it himself?
You must be very careful w dosage, how do they increase it at beginning?
I admit one thing: it tasted great.
But I’m very I tune with what’s going on w changes- 30+yes we antidepressants. It was my cancer dr who suggested it.
I became weepy within a week. 3 weeks same so I stopped. No improvement for me. I don’t like to continue adding meds. I prefer to have as few as possible.
Make certain it’s done professionally or don’t try.

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@audriana I would look into the clinics in your area and see about reviews. The quality of the clinic does make a difference. Also, the starting procedures for ketamine infusions differ. The one that seems to work really well is the alternating days for two weeks. It is a lot but by the third or fourth treatment, if it works for you (80% of people report it working) then you should be feeling better. Some people do take all five sessions to get results. After that, every three months or so, depending on how you feel. Sticking to your current meds during the treatment is important as well. You can work with your doctor afterwards if you intend to get off of the meds.
After 30 years on anti-depressants, I am on no medication and getting 1 infusion every three months.
All that being said, has your doctor mentioned SPRAVATO? It's the nasal spray version of ketamine. It isn't as effective as the IV infusion but it is covered by insurance and may work for you. It uses one of the ketamine molecules instead of both types. It has had excellent results.

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Yes, I was taking Spravato and I was thriving. The doctor who owns his facility discontinued the REMS protocol…all covered in previous posts.
I would continue with Spravato–out of town–if I were allowed to drive home.
I'm not going to jump from the frying pan into the fire….lost count of "antidepressants " list: 24 is at last count
I don't rely solely on pharmaceutical products.
It's when the suicidal ideations creep into my brain…

Thanks for your perspective @mandrake70
Since 1986, I've been asking my docs and therapists to establish a support group to no avail.
Your food for thought is nourishing.

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@happy2bhear

First most important is your Psychopharmacologist going to be the one in charge of you during the time you are taking it?
Why won’t he prescribe it himself?
You must be very careful w dosage, how do they increase it at beginning?
I admit one thing: it tasted great.
But I’m very I tune with what’s going on w changes- 30+yes we antidepressants. It was my cancer dr who suggested it.
I became weepy within a week. 3 weeks same so I stopped. No improvement for me. I don’t like to continue adding meds. I prefer to have as few as possible.
Make certain it’s done professionally or don’t try.

Jump to this post

@happy2bhear et al…thank you for your feedback– all valid concerns.
What I'm wondering is why Cape Fear Valley Medical Health System– which "owns" Community Behavioral Health Care is allowing such a void in its treatment options for people with Treatment Resistant Depression ?
It's rhetorical.. I have experienced overt and covert discrimination directed at myself and others who have mental illnesses.living in Fayetteville NC & Cumberland County. It's unfortunate that in 2021, we can't exercise our freedom to be "out".

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I don’t know specifics however you may want to think about what they are dealing with now and for past year. Covid overwhelmed many hospitals and healthcare workers. They weren’t all-seeing how long this would go on to affect people enough to bring on depression or make it worse.
There also may not be the type of qualified staff in that local area. I do think that if you keep looking, you will find the person you need who will do telehealth with you. But by all means don’t stop until you do find the answers you need.

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@audriana The driving home is an issue. I have family that is able to help me get back though I have considered an Uber. Hearing that you were thriving with Spravato really makes me hope you can find some transportation since that seems like it would be the best option.
Check in your area and see if there is a NAMI support group. Those can be helpful too. @happy2bhear had a good suggestion with the telehealth if you don't have someone local that is any good for you. I hope you are able to get some help.

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