Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page of Pacific Pain & Wellness Group. Whether you're curious about our services, insurance coverage, or specific treatments, you'll find valuable insights and answers to commonly asked questions here. Our goal is to provide clarity and transparency, empowering you to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Explore the FAQs below to gain a deeper understanding of our practice and how we can support you on your journey to optimal health and wellness.


What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a well-established medication most commonly used for surgery and pain relief. It was developed in 1962 to create a helpful drug without any side effects or risk for addiction. It’s safe and versatile, remaining one of the most common medications used by physicians for pain treatment and anesthesia. Recently, ketamine has been approved as an effective treatment option for psychological disorders.

How does ketamine work?

Instead of targeting neurotransmitters like traditional medications, it radically changes neural passageways and develops healthy neurons. In addition to this, ketamine infusion therapy can often change how the brain responds to medications, increasing the effectiveness of already prescribed drugs. Many people who haven’t found adequate improvement through traditional treatments can now experience life-changing relief.

What can ketamine infusion therapy help treat?

Ketamine infusion therapy can help treat many different disorders. It can help with depression, suicidality, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, OCD, BPD, sleep disorders, and pain disorders such as fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome.

Is there a risk of addiction?

There is no evidence that ketamine infusion therapy causes addiction. Ketamine infusions use a lower dose than when taken recreationally, and the clinical setting hinders the possibility of addiction.

Are there possible side effects?

Unlike many other medications, ketamine has few side effects. During the infusions, ketamine can cause nausea, temporary hallucinations, and a lack of appetite. These are often very short-lived and mild. Patients commonly feel tired and groggy after an infusion, but this goes away completely after a night of sleep.

Do I need a referral?

We require that you consult with one of our psychiatrist providers to see if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you. If you are currently seeing a psychiatrist that is providing you medication management, we can collaborate to determine if ketamine treatment would be a good course of action for you.

Are there any medications or health conditions that make ketamine infusions unsafe?

Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Klonopin, Librium, or Valium) interfere with ketamine if they are at a high dose or are used daily. If you are currently on benzodiazepines, our suggestion is to avoid the medication 4-6 hours before the infusion as it makes it less effective. Our evaluation with the psychiatry team will review your medical history and current medications to ensure that ketamine infusions are safe for you.

Can I eat and/or drink prior to my infusion?

Please allow 8 hours in between your last food or drink prior to undergoing ketamine therapy.

What is the process like?

There is a consultation with physician, Dr. Kartik Ananth, to see if the process is something you might want to look into, followed by an intake appointment with a psychiatric provider. After determining that ketamine infusion is right for you, you can schedule an appointment. During the infusion, you will be in a comfortable chair and given headphones. The IV drip increases very slowly, but we can stop it if you ever feel uncomfortable. Experienced and caring nurses stay to check on you and take your vitals every 15 minutes. We suggest going into the experience with your goals for treatment in mind. This makes the dissociative phase as beneficial as possible, as your brain works to repair itself.

How quickly will I feel relief?

Many patients feel relief within a few days. A good expectation is to wait for 3 treatments to have elapsed before evaluating whether ketamine is beneficial. Usually, those who struggle with thoughts of self-harm and suicidal ideation notice those thoughts and feelings go away first, bringing immense relief. Many times people notice a gradual improvement from their disorder as they go through the course of their treatments.

What is the recommended course?

Patients usually have 4-6 infusions over a 4 week period. Sometimes patients require infrequent infusions for maintenance. We will work with you to create a unique treatment plan that is optimal for you.

Will I be able to drive home?

It is important that you arrange transportation for after your infusions.

How can I get started with ketamine infusions?

If you are interested in whether ketamine infusion therapy is right for you, we are more than happy to talk to
you. You can call us at (310) 437-7399 to set up a free consultation.

Mental Health

What Is Anxiety And How Is It Treated?

Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by excessive worry or fear about future events or situations. Anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and rapid heartbeat. It can also interfere with daily activities and social relationships.

Treatment for anxiety typically includes psychotherapy, medication management, and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness meditation. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and reducing caffeine intake may also help.

What Is Depression And How Is It Treated?

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depression can cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite.

Treatment for depression typically includes psychotherapy, medication management, and lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and healthy eating habits. In severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be used as additional treatments.

What Is PTSD And How Is It Treated?

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, violence, or military combat. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors.

Treatment for PTSD typically includes psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), medication management, and lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and healthy eating habits. In some cases, group therapy or support groups may also be helpful.