Ketamine Treatments in the State of Virginia, United States of America

In 2017, MindPeace Clinics became the first medical clinic in the Commonwealth of Virginia to offer ketamine treatment in Arlington. The Arlington clinic is centrally located to serve Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Fairfax, McClean, Ballston, Rosslyn, Tyson’s Corner, and Washington D.C. area, including the suburbs of Maryland. This immediate access to ketamine treatments for those with PTSD, mood disorders, and chronic pain became a life-changing service for sufferers in the D.C. Metro area. In 2018, the second clinic in Richmond, VA, was opened. The Richmond clinic serves the central Virginia area, including Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, and the Tri-Cities areas of Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Hopewell, as well as Salisbury, Mechanicsville, and Midlothian areas.  Most recently, we opened our third location in Norfolk, Virginia, which serves the Tidewater area, including Virginia Beach, Newport News, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and even as far as eastern North Carolina to include the outer banks.

 

Because of the success of ketamine, since our inception, other “ketamine clinics” have opened. we have cared for more than 1,000 patients and safely administered over 10,000 ketamine infusions with our Board-Certified Anesthesiologists and Emergency Physicians. These physicians develop a personal, tailored treatment plan. They are present for the entire duration of the ketamine infusions, making us the largest ketamine provider of this kind in the state of Virginia.  In addition to our physician staff, we have additional medical professionals, including experienced Registered Nurses, assisting in the process of your treatment plan, thus ensuring a comfortable environment with the singular goal of helping people and making their lives richer by alleviating chronic suffering.

 

We understand that many of our patients have experienced challenging conditions, including mental health disorders and chronic pain conditions.  Our patients often experience a deep level of the following:

  • Depression
  • Major depression
  • Treatment-resistant depression
  • Severe depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Severe anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Suicidal Ideations
  • Chronic pain conditions

 

Ketamine treatment for mood disorders can take multiple routes of drug administration including ketamine infusions, racemic ketamine nasal spray, Esketamine (Spravato) Nasal Spray (which gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2018 for the indication of Major Depression and Major Depression with Suicidal Ideations and Gestures), intramuscular (I.M.) injections, and Oral Dissolving Tablets, oral lozenges, or Troches.  The most efficacious route of administration of ketamine is an intravenous infusion.  This success rate of 72% is the highest response rate, meaning at least a 50% resolution of major depression symptoms and a 38% remission rate of depression symptoms in those who receive treatment. This compares to traditional treatments with antidepressant medications, with a response rate of 46% for the corresponding rate under antidepressant medications and treatment.  To put this into context, one can expect up to a 36% response rate to a placebo in trials.  This means that conventional antidepressant medications are only 10% better than placebo.  While some clinics offer ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP), the ideal route of administration and efficacy of this combination therapy has not been established, but a review article on the topic was published last year in the Journal of Pain Research.  The use of ketamine during these KAP sessions, or around the time of the ketamine administration, is an innovative new therapy combination. Still, effective treatment responses have yet to be proven in clinical trials.

 

The treatment of depression and subsequent rapid relief of symptoms of major depressive disorder is much better than traditional treatments, sharply contrasting with SSRIs, SNRIs, and other oral antidepressant medicines.  This innovative new therapy using moderate to low dose intravenous ketamine is successful due to its mechanism of action working to block the n-methyl-d-aspirate (NMDA) Receptor. This has the downstream effects of working in the central nervous system to increase the amount of excitatory neurotransmitter Glutamate and inhibit its counterpart, GABA.  Other treatment methods do not address these chemical messengers.  This treatment causes the nerve cells to grow dendritic spines and form new synapses in the areas of the brain that are responsible for emotions, the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex.  Multiple clinical trials have focused on a series of six initial infusions of ketamine.  Each infusion may result in an altered state of consciousness or dissociative effects, and some folks have even described a “mystical journey,” which most physicians concur is due to the blocking of the NMDA receptor.

 

Our physicians at MindPeace Clinics have extensive experience with this new treatment, and our patient outcomes have shown significant improvement over other treatment methods, including up to 85% resolution of suicidal ideations over the course of 15 infusions of intravenous racemic ketamine.  This effectiveness of ketamine is significant for military veterans, who have a 50% greater likelihood of suicide than civilian American adults in recent years.  This likely may be avoided when the Department of Veteran’s Affairs creates ketamine wellness centers. Still, this effective treatment option often necessitates prior authorizations in the commercial insurance context and has garnered controversy in the V.A. system.  This is likely because ketamine is a controlled substance, schedule III, and has a stigma due to it being abused by young adults in the 1990’s and garnering the moniker of “special K” However, this history of abuse of ketamine should not color the future thinking for patients, as ketamine has already been shown to be a life-changing alternative to traditional therapies for thousands of individuals who suffer from mood disorders, chronic pain, PTSD, and others.  These challenging conditions have made it difficult to have a positive effect within the bureaucracy of the V.A. for this novel depression treatment.  Veterans may ask their primary care physician or psychiatrist for a covered free consultation about either Esketamine Nasal Spray or Racemic Ketamine Infusions.

 

As with many therapies, consulting with your primary care physician and other members of your community care network is beneficial for coordinating your treatments of both physical and mental health conditions.  Side effects may include blood pressure spikes and feelings of disassociation. However, most patients say the experience is pleasant and a welcomed step in their healing journey out of a deep level of depression and pain disorders.

 

Additionally, while ketamine infusion therapy results in neuroplasticity, patients may require maintenance infusions in addition to the initial series of ketamine sessions for this debilitating disorder to maximize their remission’s longevity.  It very much improves the quality of life and a welcomed feeling of distance from depression and chronic pain management.  At MindPeace Clinics, we want to help you get your life back. Call or visit our website today and book an initial consultation to see if ketamine treatment is right for you.

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about IV Ketamine treatment, contact us today!