Open Accessibility Menu

Ketamine FAQs

If your question was not featured below, please contact the Center for Treatment-Resistant Mood Disorders for more information.

Will my insurance cover IV ketamine infusions?

Ketamine infusions at BCH are only available through the self-pay option MDsave. Vouchers can be purchased here. Each infusion has a cost of $651, and no insurance authorizations are required.

The consultations with your psychiatric provider could be billed to insurance as a therapy follow-up.

Is IV ketamine FDA-approved?

IV ketamine is not an FDA-approved treatment for depression. Additional evaluation and research are needed. However, an American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force indicates that there is “compelling evidence that the antidepressant effects of ketamine infusion are both rapid and robust, albeit transient.”

How long does each treatment last?

The full appointment, including pre and post treatment monitoring, lasts 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours). The infusion portion takes about 40 minutes.

How quickly do patients experience improvement in symptoms?

Patients who have failed multiple treatments could experience changes on the same day of the start of this drug. A 2000 randomized, controlled trial of single-dose intravenous ketamine in people with depression revealed a significant improvement in symptoms within 72 hours (about 3 days). This means patients might be able to return to work or a normalized routine.

If ketamine infusions reduce depression symptoms, do patients still need to take antidepressants?

The answer is typically, yes. Our experienced psychiatrists believe that most patients will receive continued benefits from their antidepressant medications after ketamine infusions. Ketamine and oral antidepressants interact constructively for patients with hard-to-treat depression.

Is ketamine only available through intravenous (IV) infusion at BCH?

BCH is currently only offering ketamine via IV form. In the future, BCH hopes to offer intramuscular (IM) ketamine and the intranasal treatment, esketamine, which is derived from ketamine and is FDA-approved. The brand name for esketamine is SPRAVATO®.

Is ketamine offered as an inpatient treatment?

BCH only offers ketamine infusions in the Outpatient Behavioral Health setting at Della Cava Family Medical Pavilion.