Ketamine Treatment with Lori Calabrese, MD
You’re in the right place.
We’re on the forefront of innovative treatments that are changing people’s lives.
We’re the premier ketamine center of Connecticut offering IV Ketamine Infusions and we’re the best and most experienced. We began offering ketamine treatment years before ketamine was named one of the 6 Best Medical Achievements That Everyone Should Know About! And that was in 2017. We’ve been on the cutting edge of psychiatric treatment since the beginning. This advanced, innovative, extraordinarily effective treatment provides relief in up to 80% of our patients with severe or chronic depression and anxiety. And we offer extended hours so that you don’t have to miss work or school.
We want to make it easy for you to get well.
Bipolar Disorder — in particular, the nagging, difficult-to-treat depressive episodes we see in Bipolar II Disorder
Low dose ketamine administered intravenously has been shown to stimulate new synapse formation and neuronal rearborization through increased ribosomal transcription of DNA and at least 3 other mechanisms — it is one of the most exciting developments in psychiatry in years, and represents a true paradigm shift in our approach to depression and anxiety.
Several scientific studies conducted at Yale, the National Institutes of Mental Health, and throughout the country, have shown that even a single low dose of intravenously administered ketamine can dramatically improve symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Moodiness, hopelessness, decreased concentration, low self-esteem, impaired sleep, decreased sexual desire, impaired appetite and suicidal thoughts can improve within just a few hours. Many studies have shown that a short series of treatments can lead to dramatic responses and to full remission much more quickly than any other medication we prescribe.
This is what we see, too.
And studies throughout the world have shown that ketamine can re-establish interrupted nerve connections that are necessary to process and overcome traumatic memories. It can be an extraordinarily effective treatment for PTSD.
We provide IV Ketamine Treatment as a rapid opportunity for remission and as add-on therapy to the psychiatric treatment you’re already receiving, tailored to your unique medical profile. Most people receive 6 treatments over about 2-3 weeks. The treatment is administered with state of the art technology and careful monitoring in our beautiful and comfortable office — not in a hospital or clinic. We are happy to coordinate treatment with everyone involved in your care and customize your dose and the infusion schedule for maximal response.
If what you’re doing isn’t working, call us. We’re here for you.
Appointments for IV Ketamine Treatment are Available Quickly
FAQs: IV Ketamine Treatment
Will IV ketamine help my treatment resistant depression?
Based on research at major medical centers over the past 15 years, and in our own experience, up to 80% of all patients can expect significant and fast relief. Of course, we can’t predict your individual results but we offer genetic testing to help determine whether you are likely to respond to IV ketamine treatment and likely to respond rapidly. We use evidence-based treatment protocols and we tailor your treatment to offer you the best chance of success.
How many ketamine infusions will I need?
That depends on your response. Most responsive patients receive a series of six infusions but some patients need an additional 2 or 3. We’ll work with you to customize every aspect of your treatment for the best possible outcome. Our goal is to see you flourish.
Intravenous infusion is the safest, most reliable, and most effective way to administer precision doses of ketamine for treatment resistant depression, trauma, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Period. We hold to the highest standards of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association. Finally, in our practice, IV ketamine infusions pose zero risk of abuse or addiction for our patients. We can tell you why when we meet.
Are there any long-term side effects with ketamine treatment?
Traditional medications often produce side effects such as weight gain or sexual dysfunction. However, low dose IV ketamine treatment results in no known long-term side effects.
What medical conditions could keep me from receiving ketamine?
There are very few. We’ll discuss any contraindications to IV ketamine that you may have during your evaluation.
Do I need to be referred by a psychiatrist?
No, you or your family may call, as well as your psychiatrist, therapist or other specialists. We’ll work with you to obtain as much information as possible before your consult visit.
However, it’s important that we coordinate your treatment with your healthcare team — your current psychiatrist, therapist, and PCP, and any other specialists you choose. We offer IV ketamine infusions as an adjunct to your current treatment and we work as a consultation and specialty service for you and your doctors.
We don’t want to take you away from them — we want to work with you, and with them, during and after your treatment with us.
Will I require ketamine infusions for the rest of my life?
Probably not. Some patients achieve long-term relief after a series of infusions.
I have bipolar disorder. Will ketamine make me hypomanic?
It can. Hypomania has been reported following ketamine treatment. We have extensive experience using ketamine in patients with bipolar I and bipolar II disorder including bipolar disorder in teens and have written dozens of blog posts on this topic.
If you have bipolar disorder, we’ll talk about how to use ketamine treatment to get you out of depression without risking a switch into hypomania or mania.
Where is the treatment performed?
All of our IV ketamine infusions are administered on an outpatient basis in our gorgeous, relaxing offices using state of the art technology and continuous monitoring. We’ve got dimmers, skylights, treetop views, darker rooms if you like to be super cozy, heated zero-gravity recliners…. and soft waves on the beach in the background. Just being here makes you feel taken care of.
If ketamine treatment works for me, how soon will I begin to feel better?
You may begin to feel better within just hours of your first infusion. People with thoughts of self-harm often notice those thoughts often lift first. There can be dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness. You may notice a mood improvement the next day. Or you may require a third (or even a fourth) infusion before you really begin to notice a difference. We’ll monitor your progress carefully and adjust your dose and infusion schedule for your maximum benefit.
Will my current psychiatric medications interfere with IV ketamine treatment?
Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, MAOIs and atypicals) do not interfere with ketamine, and there is no need to stop or taper them.
If you take a high dose of a benzodiazepine (particularly clonazepam — but also alprazolam or lorazepam), it can dampen your response to ketamine, but taking these medications does not mean that ketamine cannot help you. It may take longer, or it may take more.
Lamotrigine in doses over 100 mg/day may blunt your response to ketamine. We have vast experience in using ketamine with all different kinds of psychiatric medications at all different kinds of doses, and in getting it to work. That’s who we are.
You should not decrease or stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your psychiatrist or prescribing clinician. We’ll work with them so that you’re optimally ready to respond.
Are ketamine infusions addictive?
Will my insurance company pay for ketamine treatment?
Maybe. IV Ketamine treatment for mood and anxiety disorders is an innovative treatment using ketamine off-label, but insurance companies are now beginning to pay for it.
We’re out of network, so if you have out-of-network coverage and your insurance pays you back when you see doctors out of network, it will send you a check to cover a lot of the cost of your treatment with us. Hooray! (Call them to make sure you’ve got out of network coverage, though, and if you have to meet a deductible first before it kicks in. Their small print and rules can be sneaky!)
We’re not Medicare or Medicaid providers, so Medicare will not pay for your treatment with us, and neither will your secondary.
I’ve published a seminal paper that many of our patients have sent in with their bills to successfully get reimbursed for their treatment with us. It’s compelling because it is data from our own practice, with our own patients. (And if your insurance company is smart, it would much rather pay you back for outpatient treatment than pay for a trip to the ER or an inpatient stay. Many of our patients have used it to get 100% reimbursement.) You can find the reference here.
Please call us if you’d like information about our fees.
We Make IV Ketamine Treatment Easy
We keep your credit card on file and charge it the morning of your treatment.
We also accept cash and checks if you want to keep things private but we require a credit card on file as a back up.
We’ve partnered with Advance Care and United Medical Credit to take the stress out of paying for what you need. Just click below:
FAQs: Treatment Day Questions
Do I need to bring someone with me?
Yes and no. You need to have someone drive you home after your treatment, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for social distancing, you may not have anyone accompany you in our office or infusion suites.
If you come with a family member or friend, they may wait for you in the car, or dash out for coffee, shopping or errands. We’re close to everything.
Can I eat or drink before my appointment?
You shouldn’t eat for 4 hours before your appointment, but you may have liquids freely. It’s important to arrive well-hydrated — but not with your stomach full of liquid because that can make you nauseous.
What should I expect during my ketamine infusion?
Ketamine is administered intravenously in a small amount of normal saline with a precision pump over a period of about 45 minutes and your dose will be determined by your body weight. The total dose of ketamine you’ll receive is small and is not enough to cause loss of consciousness, so you’ll remain awake, but deeply relaxed, and your vital signs will be continuously monitored throughout your infusion with the most sophisticated systems available for your safety and comfort. We suggest low lights and low stimulation with phones and gadgets off. The less stimulation the better. Some like to listen to their own playlist of soft music (without words) with their earbuds or headphones.
During the infusion, you’ll know who you are, where you are, and what is going on, but you should expect to “feel weird.” (Almost everyone reports this. No worries.) For most people, that means that within several minutes, your body will start to feel heavy and relaxed, maybe with a little tingling in your fingers — that’s just numbness — and you’ll start to feel floaty or day-dreamy. Some people say it feels “dissociative” or “out of body,” like they’re gently floating and somehow not in their body anymore, but seeing themselves, and deeply aware of things deep within them….thoughts, feelings, memories, and understandings. (Yes, plural.)
Most people say they can’t remember when they last felt this relaxed — or if they ever felt this relaxed.
During the infusion, sometimes colors seem brighter, sounds seem more intense, your vision may be blurry if you open your eyes, and your thoughts will really wander. These are direct effects of ketamine that we’ve found are important for ketamine’s ultimate effectiveness. In fact, research has shown that having dissociative symptoms is associated with having a good response and with ketamine working.
Each infusion you have will give you a different personal experience (even if your dose or infusion time is the same), and all kinds of hopes, plans, and thoughts can surface quietly — or very vividly. Let them emerge and just float by. (I love to say, “just watch the movie.”) Most of our patients tolerate their treatment beautifully, and many people find the treatment pleasant and relaxing. Sometimes it’s not, and we’ll help you with that, too. Once the infusion is complete, it will take about 10 or 15 minutes for ketamine to clear and most patients leave our office after another 10 minutes. There are no delayed “flashbacks.”
Are there side effects that I could experience during or after my treatment?
Occasionally you may experience some nausea or lightheadedness during or just after an infusion, which clears quickly. If you’re sensitive to nausea, or afraid you might be nauseous, we have medication that will help and we can administer it before, during, or after your treatment. More rarely, you may experience a bit of anxiety or a transient headache, and we can help with that, too. Very, very rarely patients at other centers who were already at risk for a seizure have reportedly experienced one. However, this has never occurred in our practice. If you have ever had a seizure, please be sure to tell us before your treatment. We will review all of this, and other potential side effects of ketamine used in other settings before you begin treatment.
What happens after my series of ketamine treatments?
We’ll follow you throughout your series of treatments, of course, in our office.
Following your initial series, you may want to work with us to begin a maintenance program, returning for a single infusion, spacing those out at increasing intervals — or you and your doctor may just call us if you feel your symptoms start to creep back in after several weeks or several months.
We’re a very different kind of practice — we offer what’s best for your wellness plan. Refreshing. Flexible. Unusual. (It’s about you, it’s not about us.) The interval between follow-up infusions varies from person to person.
Call us now at 860.648.9755 to arrange an appointment for an evaluation.
Let’s work together to help you get well. Not just a little better, but well.