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Ketamine Infusion for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Ketamine infusion, unlike traditional treatment, can provide immediate temporary relief from some of the most serious symptoms associated with PTSD including anxiety, helplessness, and depression.

  • Treatments such as Valium or Xanax may decrease the anxiety, but also leave the patient feeling tired and lethargic.

  • SSRI antidepressants antidepressants may take weeks to work and have unwanted side effects.

  • Talk therapy can be very helpful, but it takes time and doesn’t address the physical symptoms of PTSD.
  • Ketamine is reported to provide immediate relief of symptoms in 70% of patients after only a single treatment.
Over 1 In Every 30 U.S. Adults Affected
Currently Suffer From PTSD (U.S.)
Will Be Diagnosed With PTSD In Their Lifetime

What is Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is a condition that can occur when people have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or violent personal assault.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for PTSD

Researchers know that tiny doses of ketamine can rapidly relieve depression symptoms when delivered via slow intravenous infusion. The first scholarly paper describing this discovery was published by Yale in 2000. Since then, dozens more studies have been conducted by Yale, the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai Medical School, Oxford University, and more. Yale’s original findings have been reconfirmed many times.

“Recent data suggest that ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.”

Thomas Insel
Director, National Institute of Mental Health

Many studies focused on the worst-of-the-worst cases; treatment-resistant patients who have suffered for years or decades. They have tried SSRIs, mood stabilizers, other medications, psychological counseling, as well as alternative treatments like acupuncture, with little to no benefit. Yet, an astonishing 70% of these extreme cases experience rapid relief from an IV infusion of ketamine.

Ketamine, like stellate ganglion block, can sound too good to be true for those who’ve suffered for years and given up hope of ever finding relief. However, the number of patients receiving IV infusions of ketamine, as well as the number of doctors offering this therapy, is growing rapidly and finally starting to reach the patients who need it most.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for PTSD

How does ketamine infusion help PTSD?

Ketamine is administered via slow infusion and unique conditions are created in the brain which trigger a delicate series of events. This cascade produces a protein that triggers rapid growth of neural connections by way of certain receptors and signaling pathways. Researchers suspect these growing neural connections, or “rewiring”, is part of the antidepressant effect. Depression is also highly correlated with chronic inflammation and ketamine is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It’s possible there are other factors that haven’t been identified yet.

Ketamine Infusion for PTSD

How much does ketamine therapy cost?

  • Unfortunately Ketamine Infusion is not covered by insurance when performed for the treatment of PTSD
  • Insurance providers consider it an off-label use of the therapy
  • UPDATE: Often covered by insurance in New York!
  • Outside of New York, infusion ranges from $400 to $800 each
  • To get the desired results many patients will require 4 to 6 infusions over a period of weeks, followed by maintenance infusions every 4 to 12 weeks

Stellate Ganglion Block

Stellate Ganglion Block

Single-blind studies show reductions in PTSD symptoms

Learn More


“I had nightmares every night. I feel different now…like I’m back to normal”

“I’ve been feeling really good [since treatment]. I have more confidence and don’t have the negative thoughts. I’m calm.”


“I’m happy. I feel like a weight has been lifted”

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Reference material

Consensus Guidelines on the Use of Intravenous Ketamine Infusions for Chronic Pain From the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists

Steven P. Cohen, MD,*† Anuj Bhatia, MBBS, MD, Asokumar Buvanendran, MD,§ Eric S. Schwenk, MD, Ajay D. Wasan, MD, MSc,** Robert W. Hurley, MD, PhD,†† Eugene R. Viscusi, MD, Samer Narouze, MD, PhD,‡‡ Fred N. Davis, MD,§§∥∥ Elspeth C. Ritchie, MD, MPH,***††† Timothy R. Lubenow, MD,§ and William M. Hooten, MD‡‡‡

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