What is ketamine infusion therapy?
Ketamine is a medication that has been prescribed to men, women, and children since the 1960’s, primarily as an anesthetic.
In 2000, researchers discovered that ketamine Infusion Therapy had a powerful effect on depression, especially for patients resistant to treatments with typical antidepressants. In careful research and treatment since then, doctors have seen powerful and continuous results. These include a lift in mood in as little as a few minutes or hours, a reduction in suicidal thinking, and none of the side effects typically seen with classic antidepressants. Ketamine infusion therapy has a success rate in improving depression in about 70% of people, which is far more than traditional antidepressants (about 30%).
What kinds of disorders does ketamine treat?
Ketamine treatment is useful for bipolar and unipolar depression, anxiety disorders, postpartum mood disorders, PTSD, chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, and pain. Additional studies have shown that ketamine treatment can rapidly reduce suicidal thoughts as well.
How do ketamine treatments work?
While research continues to clarify the complex role ketamine plays in brain health, at its most basic level, the anesthetic temporarily blocks neurotransmitter receptors in specific areas of the brain responsible for sensory integration, memory, and learning. By blocking these pathways, ketamine creates a favorable chemical environment for neuron growth. This allows time for repair and regeneration of neural pathways, which often reduces symptoms associated with mood disorders, PTSD, and chronic pain. Ketamine has also been noted to have strong anti-inflammatory effects, which may assist in alleviating chronic pain.
Is ketamine treatment safe?
Ketamine has seen wide usage as an anesthetic in adults and children since the 1950s, and even at anesthetic doses (about 2-6 times higher than the dose used to treat depression), it is considered very safe. To maximize safety, ketamine infusions are monitored by a medical professional.
Is ketamine treatment effective?
Ketamine is remarkably effective. Clinical trials have shown relief of symptoms in 70% of patients after six infusions over 2-3 weeks. Most patients will require maintenance or “booster” infusions every every 6-9 weeks afterwards, depending on their unique symptoms and physiology. Ketamine does not cause side effects that oral antidepressants often cause (weight gain, sexual dysfunction, etc).