Ketamine for Depression

How Ketamine Infusion Therapy Works for Depression

People who need immediate relief from depression symptoms may benefit from ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine is a unique type of drug that acts on certain receptors in the brain in a way that differs greatly from other anti-depressant medication. For one thing, it works much more quickly than other drugs. Furthermore, it has been shown to work for people that haven’t benefitted from other depression treatment options. Therefore, it’s a drug that should be considered seriously, even though it is still in clinical trials for full FDA approval.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is an interesting drug. It is a derivative of PCP that was created in a lab. It is best-known by many people as a “club drug,” because of its popularity as such in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Ingested in large quantities in high-risk situations, it can cause depersonalization, hallucinations, and other side effects that people may desire from a recreational substance. However, that’s not all that there is to this drug.

In the proper dose, ketamine is an anesthetic that provides terrific sedation and treatment for both acute and chronic pain. In fact, it was widely used during the Vietnam War as a safe form of anesthesia for rugged conditions. It is used by some doctors today when people, including children, are unable to tolerate other forms of anesthesia but need to be sedated for a procedure.

Ketamine also opens up the airways. This is important for its role as an anesthetic, because it makes it a much lower-risk drug than other forms of sedation. Furthermore, it has sometimes been used to treat life-threatening cases of asthma.

As you can see, ketamine is a drug with a lot of potential uses. There’s one more big one: treatment for depression.

What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression

Ketamine has been shown to help improve symptoms of depression. It isn’t currently approved as such by the FDA, but studies have shown a lot of promise, and there’s hope for FDA approval to come soon. The recommended form of treatment is infusion therapy. This means that the patient is hooked up to an IV to receive a proper dose of ketamine infused directly into the system.

This method of treatment is considered one of the best options in large part because of how quickly it works. Most anti-depressants take weeks, or even months, to become effective. In contrast, ketamine infusion therapy for depression begins working almost immediately. People see symptom relief in as little as forty minutes (although a few hours is more typical.) This is especially beneficial for people in crisis, with suicidal ideation, and in immediate need of relief.

Ketamine infusion therapy isn’t just a quick fix for depression, though. Regular infusion can offer ongoing improvement. In fact, research indicates that people with treatment-resistant depression often finally get relief from ketamine. When you have tried multiple medications, various forms of talk therapy, and changes to diet and exercise and still have depression systems, you can easily begin to feel like nothing will ever help. However, there is relief out there, and ketamine is precisely that relief for many people.

Dr. Jeffrey Ditzell is a Psychiatrist in New York City and specializes in issues involving anxiety depression and adult ADHD. Ketamine for Depression is one of the many treatments Dr. Ditzell offers to treat a variety of mental health issues.