Who Are Ketamine Treatments For?

Ketamine Infusion Therapy Clinic Halifax Fredericton

Ketamine is a new type of treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

MDD is a serious condition that affects 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives. Luckily, many treatments are available for treating MDD, including antidepressant medication, talk therapy, lifestyle changes, and neuromodulation treatments.

For some people, depression can be more difficult to treat than others. 

Research has shown that up approximately 30% of people with major depressive disorder (MDD) do not respond to standard antidepressants, which are often the first choice in treating depression.

How Is Ketamine Different? 

Most antidepressants affect certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Ketamine appears to target a different chemical called glutamate. Researchers are still investigating specifically how ketamine improves depression.

Ketamine also differs from other antidepressants in terms of how it is given to patients. 

Most antidepressants are taken as a pill on a daily basis. Ketamine, in contrast, is delivered as an intravenous infusion, as an intramuscular injection, or as an intranasal spray. Treatments are also not daily but typically on a tapering schedule starting at 2-3 times per week.

Are The Ketamine Treatments Safe?

Ketamine treatments need to be observed and monitored by medical professionals. While ketamine is generally safe, it can be associated with changes in heart rate, blood pressure and symptoms of dissociation for 2 hours after receiving treatment. For this reason, it is important that patients be monitored throughout treatment by medical professionals.

Who Benefits From The Ketamine Treatments?

Ketamine can be an important treatment for people with major depressive disorder that is not responding to other treatments. However, it also has limitations and risks. 

As a result, it is critical to have a proper assessment with a psychiatrist prior to starting this treatment to 

  • ensure that it is a reasonable option for your condition 
  • to go through the potential risks and potential benefits. 

Speaking with a psychiatrist directly will allow you to make an informed decision for your treatment.

Are Ketamine Treatments Covered?

Ketamine Treatments are not currently covered, but funding is available through WCB, VAC and some private healthcare accounts. Please reach out to us directly to determine your funding eligibility.

Intramuscular Injections:
  • $400 per treatment
  • 6 initial treatments are required (twice weekly for three weeks). (Total: $2400)
  • Additional maintenance treatments may be required, which will be determined by the prescribing physician
Intranasal Spray:
  • 200 per treatment* this does not include the cost of the drug
  • Typically, 20-28 treatments are required over the course of 6 months
    • 1st month – treatments twice weekly
    • 2nd month – treatments once weekly
    • Months 3–6 – treatments once weekly or once biweekly
  • Some private medical insurance companies and VAC/RCMP may cover the partial or full cost of the drug.
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