What Is Ketamine Therapy?

We are so excited to provide this vital & breakthrough service to our community!  Ketamine is a rapid acting treatment that provides relief for up to 70% of patients who have failed numerous other medications. 

Ketamine therapy is an innovative treatment approach using very low doses of a dissociative anesthetic to reduce the symptoms of mental health conditions. These include suicidal ideation (SI), treatment-resistant depression (TRD), depressive episodes of bipolar disorder (BPAD),  anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  It has shown to alleviate suicidal ideation with just one single dose!

The advantages of ketamine treatment are many.  Unlike typical antidepressant treatment you do not have to take a pill everyday.  Some patients are able to reduce the frequency of their maintenence treatment to once every 3 months whereas others come monthly.  The risk of side effects compared to SSRIs & SNRIs is significantly lower.  Additionally, ketamine works fast.  No more having to wait 6 weeks to determine if the next prescription is going to help.  With ketamine depressive patients often see a difference within 3-4 treatments 

The medication is received in a series of six infusions over a 3 week period and one “booster” infusion around four weeks later. 

How Much Does Ketamine Cost?

We are one of very few clinics that accepts major insurance to offset more than 50% of the cost of this treatment!

While ketamine has been FDA approved as a surgical medicine in high-dose strength since 1970, its application at the lower “sub-anesthetic” dose is still considered ‘off-label’ by the FDA for the treatment of mental health conditions.  Because ketamine is an off label treatment, insurance does not yet pay for this service.  Up until recently, middle Tennessee residents only had the option to pay for ketamine completely out of pocket.  This cost for this service in middle Tennessee is between $2,400 to $4,000 for a series of six infusions. 

Remaining true to our mission of expanding access to mental health treatment to our community, we have worked diligently to reduce the financial burden of this life saving treatment.  

Novus utilizes a billing method known as “hybrid” billing.  With hybrid billing,  patients pay the cost of the medicine & the infusion – which is not covered in our insurance contracts – and the cost of the visit time is billed to your insurance.  In many instances we are able to keep the cost under $1100 for patients.   

Ketamine and Veterans

And…. an even more exciting announcement is our partnership with the VA!  Beginning this year,  Novus Behavioral Health is able to bill the full cost of ketamine to the VA for service connected disabled veterans with treatment resistant depression.  

Caring for veterans is one our greatest passions at Novus Behavioral Health.   It is a personal mission of each of our team members to serve the men and women who have bravely served our country.  We are eager to do our part to reduce the tragic epidemic of veteran suicide.  Vets are 57% more likely to complete suicide than individuals who have not served.   Ketamine will help us fight to keep our vets alive & well.  

Ketamine therapy has demonstrated its potential to offer swift and effective relief from the persistent cloud of depression, providing individuals with a renewed sense of hope and well-being.

Ketamine therapy has shown encouraging results in helping individuals manage the distressing symptoms of PTSD, offering a glimmer of hope for those seeking relief from the weight of past trauma.

Ketamine therapy has shown promising results in rapidly alleviating symptoms of anxiety, providing individuals with a potential path to profound relief and improved mental well-being.


Ketamine, when used in lower doses, has demonstrated effectiveness in managing chronic pain conditions. It works by modulating the brain's perception of pain signals, offering relief.

Effects of Ketamine

Ketamine therapy has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. This dissociative anesthetic, when administered in controlled settings, has shown promising effects on mental health. One of the most notable benefits of ketamine therapy is its rapid onset of action, often providing relief within hours or days, as opposed to traditional antidepressants that may take weeks to show any improvement. This quick response can be life-changing for individuals in the depths of severe depression or experiencing suicidal ideation.

Ketamine therapy also offers hope to those who have not responded to other treatment modalities. It acts on different neurotransmitter systems, particularly the glutamate pathway, which sets it apart from conventional antidepressants that primarily target serotonin. Furthermore, the therapeutic effects of ketamine appear to be more profound and sustained, potentially providing long-term relief for some patients.

What makes ketamine therapy truly revolutionary is its ability to address the root causes of depression and mood disorders by targeting unique neural pathways. It operates on the frontiers of neuroscience.  In essence, ketamine therapy holds the promise of transforming lives, rewriting the narratives of despair into stories of resilience and recovery. With responsible administration by healthcare professionals, it offers the chance to reclaim joy, purpose, and a brighter future.

How Does Ketamine Therapy Work?

As an NMDA receptor antagonist, ketamine binds to NMDA receptor proteins located on cell membranes. Here, it can block glutamate from binding. Ketamine also affects the mTOR pathway, which is how it is thought to help create new neural connections. It also binds to the AMPA receptor and opioid receptors.

By boosting/enhancing neural activity, ketamine helps the brain operate normally. Ketamine improves neuroplasticity, which is critical for patients to overcome unhealthy, recursive patterns.

Ketamine therapy is a revolutionary source of relief for patients suffering from mental illness and chronic pain. Let’s walk through the ketamine infusion process from beginning to end.

During your first visit, we’ll perform a consultation to review your overall health. Our experienced psychiatry team will guide you through a comprehensive mental health screening, ensuring that you receive the personalized care you need for your ketamine treatment.

Once you’ve completed the consultation, we’ll plan your infusion sessions. We require patients to organize transportation home from the treatment center, as driving is not allowed within the first several hours after the session. Patients are encouraged to invite a family member, friend, or spouse to accompany them to the treatment.

On the day of your session, you’ll meet with one of our healthcare providers who will explain the treatment process in detail within our state-of-the-art facility. You’ll be comfortably seated in a lounge chair and provided with headphones for music. Each infusion session typically lasts between 45 to 60 minutes and is closely monitored by our psychiatric professionals. After your session is complete, you’ll be led to a recovery area with a spa-like atmosphere, where our medical staff will assess your condition before you go home.

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