Growing numbers of individuals nationwide continue to struggle with severe depression even after multiple attempts at various antidepressant medications and courses of psychotherapy. Many even have attempted to gain benefit from other forms of treatment including electroconvulsive therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation. For such individuals, ketamine treatment represents an effective and rapid treatment for refractory depression. Ketamine treatment involves low dose infusions, typically sub-anesthetic dosage compared to what is administered in operating room. It is increasingly clear that intravenous ketamine infusion therapy may yield significant relief to a segment of sufferers when traditional treatments have previously failed. Intravenous ketamine therapy works effectively, sometimes in a matter of hours, and safely with no known long-term side effects. Ketamine has demonstrated unprecedented benefit for individuals suffering from acute hopelessness and active suicidality.
Typical antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) are thought to be effective based on their mechanism of replenishing deficiencies of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. These agents typically require many weeks or even months in order to reach therapeutic levels to have their affect. Ketamine therapy does not carry with it the side effects common to most anti-depressant agents such as decreased libido, weight gain, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision and dry mouth.
The Ketamine Infusion
IV ketamine infusion has been proven to be the most effective route of administration. A full course of recommended therapy consists of a series of 6-8 infusions performed twice-weekly over a period of 3-4 weeks .The ketamine infusion consists of a 40 min. infusion during which the patient is seated in a comfortable chair and environment. Each patient is closely monitored by highly experienced physicians and nurses using hospital grade equipment to monitor pulse, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and electrocardiogram. Some individuals report nausea, fatigue and dizziness although these affects are temporary and usually disappear quickly.
Read More About Ketamine
Ketamine is recognized as one of the top 100 medications used by The World Health Organization. Ketamine has been in clinical use since the 1970s and is considered on the safest and commonly used anesthetics in the world. It has been long used as both an anesthetic and analgesic in operating rooms, emergency rooms and burn centers. It is approved for numerous procedures in adult, child and veterinary medicine. IV ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, PTSD and anxiety have been studied by leading academic tuitions and hospitals including Yale University, Harvard University, UCLA, NYU, The National Institute of Mental Health, Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Intravenous ketamine treatment offers hope to those with severe depression, anxiety and PTSD. This includes patients with major depressive disorders, postpartum depression, bipolar depression, OCD, PTSD and severe anxiety. Severe depression is one of the most common conditions that causes disability worldwide, taking a huge toll on everyday life. Many patients have tried numerous oral medications, but have found little to no relief as well as difficult to tolerate side effects.