Ketamine for Depression: Understanding the Cost
How much does a ketamine infusion cost in Denver? Depression is a debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. With antidepressants providing relief for only 40%-60% of patients, ketamine is making waves in the mental health community for its ability to rapidly reduce depression symptoms for those who have struggled with treatment-resistant depression and major depressive disorder. If you are considering ketamine therapy for your depression, you may be wondering how much ketamine infusions cost in Denver and how to get ketamine treatment. While costs vary from provider to provider, this blog will provide you with general guidelines for ketamine infusions, alternative treatments you might consider, and what you should also budget for when taking this medication. We recommend that you read our Spravato costs blog to compare treatment options before making a decision on which form of ketamine therapy you want to pursue and what to consider before starting treatment.
What is Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine therapy involves the administration of low doses of ketamine, an FDA approved anesthetic medication, to patients with depression. The therapy has been found to be incredibly effective in treating depression, even in those who have not responded well to other forms of treatment. Here are three ways that ketamine can be administered at our clinic:
IV Ketamine Infusion
IV ketamine infusion involves the administration of ketamine directly into the bloodstream via an intravenous (IV) line. This form of ketamine therapy is typically administered in a clinical setting, and patients are closely monitored during the entire process.
Standalone Intramuscular Injection
Many patients choose to have ketamine administered intramuscularly rather than through an IV injection. We can do this either standalone or in conjunction with Spravato treatment. Any and all medication requests must be discussed with your provider prior to administration of the medication.
Spravato is an FDA-approved nasal spray that contains esketamine, a chemical cousin of ketamine. Spravato is taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider, who will administer the medication in the clinic. At Axis Integrated Mental Health, patients inhale the medication and then relax in an optimized healing environment for approximately 2 hours.
How Much Does Ketamine Infusion Cost in Denver?
IV ketamine infusion cost in Denver can range from $450 to $800 per treatment with a series of 6-8 infusions recommended to start. Many patients ask "why is ketamine treatment so expensive?" Ketamine infusion cost in Denver at Axis Integrated Mental Health includes the medication, equipment needed to administer the medication safely, monitoring throughout the entire 2-3 hour procedure by board-certified medical professionals, a spa-like private treatment room with zero-gravity chairs, steam eye masks, soothing music, and noise-canceling headsets.
Follow-up boosters can be administered on an as-needed basis. Not all clinics are as thorough and as patient-centric as we are and may provide treatments in a group setting rather than a private recovery room, so it's important to consider this when evaluating the ketamine therapy price and choosing a provider.
Is Ketamine Infusion Covered by Insurance?
IV ketamine infusion is typically not covered by insurance. However, affordable ketamine treatment is possible. At Axis Integrated Mental Health, we offer interest-free financing for the first 6 months. If cost is still a factor, we encourage you to consider Spravato, a more potent form of ketamine that allows doctors to give lower doses with fewer side effects and is covered by most insurances, including Medicaid. Spravato insurance approval requires that the patient has failed two to four antidepressants before covering Spravato.
What Other Ketamine Infusion Costs Should I Consider?
After an infusion, patients are not allowed to drive. When considering ketamine infusion costs in Denver, you should also consider a budget for transportation. While many of our patients have friends or family members pick them up for the clinic, others use public transportation or ride-share apps to get back home.
It's also important to factor the cost of missed work. After a ketamine infusion, you will need to rest and relax rather than going back to work. Although every patient is unique and gets a custom plan, a typical infusion regimen requires three 2-hour appointments the first week, two the second week, and 1 in the third week. To minimize the amount of time our patients need to miss work, we offer a Saturday clinic and late appointments.
What Kind of Results Should I Expect From Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
We see a variety of responses from patients who have completed ketamine infusion therapy. Typically, we see rapid relief from depression and anxiety after the first dose, and significant improvements after the second or third dose. Research shows that the severity of depression and anxiety significantly improves a few weeks after the last dose of ketamine.
What Are Some Myths About Ketamine?
Ketamine will fix my life: While ketamine can definitely help you recover from depression and anxiety, the medication by itself cannot fix the poor habits and choices that were made while your brain may not have been functioning at its optimal level. Only you can fix your life and we can help you get there through therapy, social prescribing, and other lifestyle coaching but ketamine is not a silver bullet.
Spravato is a "watered down" version of IV Ketamine: This one is peculiar as it's generally known that Spravato is actually a more potent version of Ketamine and more recent research has gone into it, meaning that lower doses are needed for effectiveness.
You need to disassociate for Ketamine to "work": Disassociation is actually considered a negative side effect of Ketamine and the disassociation is not necessary for treatment to be effective. This is equivalent to saying that one needs to vomit for ketamine treatment to work. No two ketamine treatments are ever alike and the increased neuroplasticity and brain communication that comes from ketamine therapy occurs whether or not one has disassociated. Some research suggests that higher doses leads to poorer outcomes for depression relief as well as creating higher potential for addiction.
I can do Ketamine Therapy at home: This is not a total myth however, we strongly believe that set and setting is important when getting ketamine therapy. Moreover, at-home ketamine is not covered by insurance and has limitations in terms of how long it can be prescribed.
I can stop Ketamine Therapy once I feel better: Ketamine or Spravato, like all mental health meds, needs to be taken consistently to be effective. In the same way one can't just stop taking antidepressants without negative side effects, the same can be said for ketamine therapy. We have seen over and over how patients who make the mistake to wait too long between treatments end up feeling low again, and need more time to get back to their previous levels of stability than if they had come in for treatment on their normally scheduled cadence.
Ketamine is non-addictive: It can be non-addictive in the right clinical setting, but like all medications, the potential for abuse is always there. This is why it is heavily regulated by the FDA and DEA and we comply with all requirements for clinical administration. We are also very conservative with dosing Ketamine, which means you might be prescribed less than what you got from other clinics. With the proper dosing and administration, addiction is low, and we have other treatments that are non-pharmacologic and effective like TMS for people with substance abuse histories. Even if Ketamine is not physically addictive, it can become psychologically addictive, and we take many precautions to guard patients against this negative outcome.
What Are the Advantages of Ketamine Infusion vs. Spravato?
While ketamine and esketamine (the active ingredient in Spravato) are closely related, there are some advantages to ketamine infusions over Spravato.
Start Treatment Immediately: IV ketamine infusion is typically not covered by insurance. If cost is still a factor, we encourage you to consider Spravato, a close cousin to ketamine which is covered by most insurances, including Medicaid. Spravato insurance approval requires that the patient has failed two to four antidepressants before covering Spravato.
Shorter Treatment Period: Infusions also require less time overall to be effective. Typically, infusions require 6 visits in the first month and the potential for 2-4 treatments in the second month. Spravato requires 8 visits in the first month and potentially 1 visit a week every month thereafter. So if you have a limited amount of time to seek treatment and get results, you may want to consider infusions over Spravato.
Faster results: Ketamine infusions usually result in improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms within hours of the first treatment. With Spravato, results can take as long as 2 weeks to see an effect.
Easier to Customize the Treatment Plan: People respond to medication differently. We have seen a few patients who are ultra-rapid metabolizers of drugs, which means that medication is rapidly broken down and removed from the patient’s system before they see a reduction of symptoms. Those who have these unique genes may find that antidepressants may work for a short time (if at all) and then stop working altogether. With ketamine infusions, we can spot these differences in how a patient responds to treatment and easily titrate the medication to effect. With Spravato, since the dosing is pre-measured in the nasal applicator, it is not as easy to adjust dosing.
No Additional Medications Required: You do not need to be already on an antidepressant to start ketamine infusions. However, Spravato must be administered in conjunction with an antidepressant. So if you're looking to reduce your medication burden, infusions might be a better strategy for you.
What Can Impact Ketamine Infusion Cost in Denver?
We provide a range of costs for ketamine infusions because every patient requires a unique treatment plan. What typically impacts ketamine infusion cost in Denver is the duration of an infusion and the number of infusions that a patient needs. These factors are determined by the patient’s diagnosis and the unique circumstances surrounding their mental health.
How Can I Get an Estimate for Ketamine Infusion Costs?
Book appointment now
Axis Integrated Mental Health is a leading provider of ketamine infusion therapy in Denver, Louisville and Westminster, Colorado. To get an accurate estimate for ketamine infusion cost in Denver, contact us at (720) 400-7025 or book an intake appointment with our psychiatrists to understand the full range of treatment options we offer for depression and anxiety. Please also read our blog to understand how to prepare for the day of ketamine infusion to know what to expect and what you can do to get the best experience.