Columbia Ketamine Program
We Are Now Offering COVID-Safe Intranasal Ketamine
The safety of our patients is always our top priority. We are still offering ketamine treatments for depression. Here are the steps we are taking to keep you safe:
- Face Masks: Everyone in our practices must wear a mask or face covering. We recommend that you also wear face coverings while traveling to our offices. On entry to our facilities, we will ensure that everyone is wearing a face covering.
- Waiting Room Changes: We’ve taken steps to make sure our waiting rooms are safe by limiting close contact and we’re staggering appointment times to reduce the number of patients in our offices.
- Screening: We will ask you about symptoms related to coronavirus and exposure to others with COVID-19 prior to your visit. On arrival at our practices, we are screening everyone for symptoms and exposure and doing temperature checks.
- Visitor Policy Changes: For everyone’s safety, our Visitor Policy has been updated. For now, visitors are not allowed with few exceptions. In these cases, only one person may join you at your visit. Any visitor who is coughing or showing other signs of illness will be asked to leave. Please visit NewYork-Presbyterian’s website for information about their Visitor Policy.
If you think you might have COVID-19, we want you to get the best care possible and keep those around you safe and healthy. That means finding out if you need testing before visiting a practice office.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your primary care doctor. They will determine if you need testing. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, you should visit the emergency room.
Physical distancing helps keep everybody safe, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to get care when you need it. If you don’t need an in-person appointment, you can meet with your doctor online with a Virtual Visit.
Virtual Visits let you connect from the comfort and safety of your own home. All you need is a smartphone or tablet and a strong internet connection.
You’ll get the same high level of care as an office visit, but without the commute or waiting room. Virtual Visits are fast and convenient.
To schedule a Virtual Visit, please contact your doctor’s office. To be connected with a ColumbiaDoctors physician, call 877-426-5637.
Faster relief from depression. Now available from leaders in the field.
Depression affects more than 16 million Americans every year. While this condition is a challenge for everyone who must cope with it, there are many who cannot find relief in traditional treatments. At Columbia Psychiatry, we take pride in offering the latest advances in mental health treatment and the highest levels of quality and patient safety. That’s why we are now offering ketamine ketamine for treatment resistant depression.
Located at ColumbiaDoctors Midtown, right next to Rockefeller Center, the Columbia Ketamine Program offers a comprehensive ketamine treatment for treatment resistant depression in a single safe and convenient location. Columbia Psychiatry has been a pioneer in the researching of ketamine’s benefits for those struggling with depression. The research clearly indicates that ketamine provides rapid relief from depressive symptoms and a significant reduction in suicidal thoughts.
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that blocks the NMDA receptor that has also been used as a recreational drug due to its dissociative properties. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines because of its safety and efficacy for anesthesia. More recently, ketamine has been discovered as a safe and effective treatment for depression, and randomized controlled trials have shown rapid improvement in mood as well as reduction in suicidality compared to people who receive a placebo or another drug.
Is ketamine right for me?
Adults age 18 and over who suffer from moderate-severe depression and have not had success with traditional treatments for depression are eligible for ketamine treatment. Our comprehensive evaluation will include a medical history and basic lab results to ensure ketamine is safe for you.
Does ketamine really work?
Several randomized controlled trials demonstrate that ketamine has made a significant improvement in depressive symptoms and suicidality over the course of the first 2 weeks. In fact, if ketamine does not work for you after 2 sessions, the data suggest it is unlikely to work at all. An ongoing research question that we are still actively studying here at Columbia Psychiatry is how long the antidepressant effects of ketamine truly last as most studies have had relatively short follow-up periods. The graph to the right shows just one such study’s results.
What are the risks?
For depression, the doses of ketamine used are much lower than the dose for anesthesia, making it relatively safe. That said, ketamine does carry the risk of changing your blood pressure and heart rate, which we will monitor closely. Longer term risks include urinary symptoms, cognitive impairment (with prolonged use), and substance use disorders. We will monitor for these symptoms throughout the treatment.
What is the process to receive a ketamine treatment for depression?
- Call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.
- Free phone consultations with one of our intake specialists to schedule evaluation.
- 90-minute evaluation with one of our psychiatrists with expertise in treatment-resistant depression to determine if ketamine (or another treatment) is the best treatment for you.
- Evaluation of basic lab results to ensure ketamine is safe for you.
- The initial administration of the ketamine treatment.
- Twice weekly ketamine administration for 2 weeks with follow-up treatments as recommended by psychiatrist. A typical case would be 8-12 treatments over 4-6 weeks.
- Follow-up care as recommended by our clinical experts.
How much does ketamine cost?
Intransal Ketamine: The cost for the service of administering intranasal esketamine in our offices is $650/treatment for persons who are out of network with our ketamine providers. Please note this cost does NOT include the cost of the drug itself. The only FDA approved formulation of ketamine is intranasal esketamine, also known as SpravatoTM. This medication is brand-only. Your insurance may cover the cost of the medication itself, or you may need prior authorization, which our team will help coordinate.
IV Ketamine: The FDA has not approved the use of IV ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, which means this is an off-label use of the medication. As such, ketamine treatment will not be covered by insurance and will cost $650 per infusion. We will provide billing statements for the evaluation and infusions to help you get as much reimbursement as your insurance company will allow.
Does it matter if ketamine is administered via IV or nasal spray?
Esketamine is a form of ketamine that can be used via a nasal spray that was FDA-approved to treat treatment-resistant depression in 2019. While esketamine does not require an infusion, it must be administered in a health care setting where patients can be monitored for up to two hours. As a result of the current pandemic we are only offering intranasal esketamine for our patients. We hope to return to offering intravenous ketamine infusions when health conditions permit.
Ketamine treatment is provided at our ColumbiaDoctors Midtown location.
Key Research and Consensus Guidelines
- A Consensus Statement on the Use of Ketamine in the Treatment of Mood Disorders
- Ketamine versus midazolam in bipolar depression with suicidal thoughts: A pilot midazolam-controlled randomized clinical trial
- A pilot in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study of amino acid neurotransmitter response to ketamine treatment of major depressive disorder
- Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial