Ketamine Therapy FAQ

How long does it take for Ketamine Therapy to work?

Generally speaking, people will feel immediate benefit from ketamine therapy after their first treatment. In order to achieve long-term remission, we recommend 8-10 doses of ketamine over 4-5 weeks.

Additional sessions can be scheduled at the discretion of our ketamine therapy team. Occasionally, for more severe presentations, we may allow more frequent maintenance doses.

Who provides Ketamine Therapy at Philadelphia Integrative Psychiatry?

Dr. Danish was one of the first psychiatrists (if not the first) to begin offering Ketamine Therapy in the Philadelphia area following the NIH study in 2015.

We now have an entire Ketamine Therapy team consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and registered nurses. Our Team is trained within the highest standard of psychedelic care including MAPS (Multidisciplinary association for Psychedelic Studies) and the Ketamine Training Center.

What Ketamine Therapy programs does Philadelphia Integrative Psychiatry offer?

We offer two different Ketamine Therapy programs in our office:

1. Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) Ketamine Therapy
2. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

The biggest difference between these programs is with KAP sessions you will have a therapist present with you for the entire treatment process, while during TRD sessions a nurse monitors and assists.

What is the benefit of Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)?

KAP has shown to bolster effects of ketamine by integrating subconsious and mind-altered experiences into the real world. People who go under ketamine treatments often look at the world differently, KAP therapists allow the patient to better make sense of that, and utilize what they’ve learn to improve their lives, make better decisions, or recover from trauma.

If I am on the waitlist for KAP, can I start with TRD Ketamine Therapy?

Yes, this can actually be very helpful to familiarize yourself with the effects of ketamine. You will not be able to access psychedelic dosing during the TRD model, but can benefit from the TRD effects of the medicine and start KAP sessions when a therapist becomes available.

What method is used to treat patients with Ketamine?

There are multiple ways that ketamine can be introduced to the body: Intravenous (IV), Intramuscular (injection), Intranasal (nasal spray), or Oral (lozenges).

IV happened to be used in research due to its ability to titrate dose very easily. However, after providing IV Ketamine Therapy for several years, we found that our patients actually preferred IM dosing. It's less invasive, feels less clinical and we are able to price more competitively compared to IV Ketamine clinics, since our equipment costs are much lower.

Research shows that there is no benefit of IV Ketamine compared to Intramuscular (IM) for ketamine use in psychiatry.

Do you offer Spravado (Nasal Spray) or Ketamine lozenges?

We no longer offer Spravado. As a branded medication without a generic alternative, we found that Spravado was more expensive for our patients at about $900/per dose (and most insurances only cover a portion).

In order to provide the best care and value to our Ketamine Therapy patients, we use generic ketamine (nearly identical in therapeutic properties) and are able to bring costs down lower than Spravado.

We do offer Ketamine lozenges in office for people who may be sensitive to the intensity of Intramuscular (IM) Ketamine dosing, or for patients who have a fear of needles. We may also use a combination of both to lengthen the treatment experience for some.

Do you offer in-home Ketamine Therapy?

No, we do not offer in home ketamine at this time.

Does Ketamine Therapy replace my needs for my current medication?

Ketamine Therapy can be used as an adjunct or in place of medications. If you are currently taking psychotropic medications, our doctors can work with you on a plan to stay on these meds or slowly wean you off before or after your treatment.

What is the minimum age for Ketamine Therapy?

You must be at least 18 years old to receive Ketamine Therapy.

What are the possible side effects of Ketamine?

The most common side effects are listed below, but our Ketamine Therapy Team will review these in detail with you before beginning treatment.

Dissociative symptoms/Disorientation
A feeling of floating or leaving the body, which can be fearful for some. This is mitigated by starting at a very low dose where this is typically not felt intensely, and then raising dose if needed.

Hypertension (high blood pressure)
This will be monitored before, after, and if necessary during your ketamine treatment. Medications are held onsite to treat sudden increases in blood pressure.

Bladder and urinary tract infections
These are rare and usually seen in addiction/abuse situations, but it is treatable regardless.

Medications will be provided in office if this occurs.

Is Ketamine FDA Approved?

No this medication is considered experimental and is not able to seek FDA approval because of it’s “off label” designation.

Despite this designation, the benefits of Ketamine have been well documented and studied on a large scale Johnson and Johnson’s version of ketamine “esketamine” is FDA approved for treatment resistant depression and shares identical therapeutic properties as generic ketamine.

Generic Ketamine has been widely studied, most notably under a federal funded study through the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2006 (view study).

Can I work or travel immediately after a Ketamine Treatment session?

Generally speaking, working after a Ketamine Therapy session should be avoided. If you must return to work or another productive activity, keep it limited to administrative tasks and avoid machinery, working with people, etc.

You will need a support person to provide transportation from your session, or an Uber/Lyft. Your safety is important to us. We will verify by line of sight or greeting any ride. There is no walking home or biking home allowed.

Do you offer psilocybin or other psychedelic treatments?

We do not offer any other types of psychedelic medicine at this time since they are not yet commercially available for legal use in a psychiatric/medical setting. We are watching the clinical trials closely and plan to implement these medicines when they become approved and available for therapeutic medical use by the FDA.