The hallmark to good treatment is an accurate diagnosis. In a mental health assessment your doctor will have you or you loved one answer questions pertaining to your medical and mental health, may order lab test and imaging and discuss your mental health history.
Once a diagnosis is established your doctor will be able to offer you pharmacological options if necessary. Most patients who qualify to receive pharmacological treatment will likely require co-existing psychological services with a psychologist. We work with many psychologist in the area and can provide you with references when necessary.
Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been FDA approved for over 50 years and most recently the intranasal ketamine was FDA approved for depression. What is unique and exciting about ketamine is that it works on a different receptor called glutamate, as opposed to tradition neurotransmitters like serotonin. In addition to that ketamine can lead to a rapid growth of dendritic spines, similar to a tree growing branches and leaves. This is this important because traditional medications can offer the same effect but could take months for the same outcome. Why is our office different than other ketamine centers? A patient will always have a full psychiatric examination prior to determining if they are a candidate for ketamine, either through evaluation from Dr. Lopez or a referral from a psychiatrist in the community. We work diligently to make sure the patient has continuity of care with a psychiatrist after ketamine infusions treatment has ended. We also follow the American Psychiatric Association guidelines and are members of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians.
Below are some helpful questions and answers about ketamine
1-How does it work? Works on the Glutamate and NMDA receptors, allowing for changes in the neurotransmitters which help establish new connections in the brain.
2-How fast does it work? As quickly as a few hours to a few days.
3-Do the results last? With the traditional model of six infusions in two weeks you could see results lasting several weeks to months.
4-What is an infusion? It is administered directly into the vein and usually last 40 minutes with a 15-20 minute recovery time.
5-What are the side effects? Dream like state, blurry vision, dizziness, nausea and if they occur they subside quickly when the infusion is done.
6-How do I know if I’m a candidate? Contact us and you will meet directly with Dr. Lopez to make a determination of ketamine is the right choice for you.
7-Is it covered by insurance? Some insurances will reimburse for ketamine treatment. We encourage to reach out to your insurance company for more details.
8-What about the new FDA approved treatment, Spravato? This is an instranasal spray of esketamine that needs to be administered by a healthcare provider. It is recommended to be given twice per week in the first four weeks, then once weekly from weeks five through eight and once every two weeks thereafter.
The use of psychological methods to help a person change behaviors and patterns that are not desired. Psychologist will aim to improve an individual’s well being and mental health through the power to talk therapy. Dr. Lopez offers brief psychological services during her sessions and oftentimes refers out for additional assistance in reaching the desired goals.