What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a drug that has a long and somewhat controversial history. It has been used for decades as an anesthetic in operating rooms and on battlefields. Unfortunately, Ketamine was abused and was often thought of as a party drug known as Special K. People abused this drug because of how good it could make them feel, and it is because of this that led researchers to consider that Ketamine may be a viable treatment for major depression and bipolar depression at the correct dose.
After years of research, specifically targeted at the treatment of major depression and bipolar depression, Ketamine therapy has been found to be safe and effective. Ketamine is administered for the treatment of depression in a different manner than other anti-depressant medication. It is administered intravenously over a period of 45 minutes to several hours in the safety of a doctor’s office.
Several treatments a week are required for several weeks in a row in order to determine the full effect of the treatment. However, you are likely to feel significant relief after only one treatment. After Ketamine intravenous (IV) administration, you will be asked to remain at your doctor’s office for about an hour for observation and will be required to have another person drive you home after treatment.
How does Ketamine Help with Depression?
Ketamine is a fast-acting drug, contrary to current anti-depressants in use that take weeks to feel an effect, if at all. There are several mechanisms by which Ketamine helps with depression.
Studies have revealed that the same mechanisms that allow it to act as an anesthetic, at much lower doses works to relieve depression, particularly treatment-resistant depression that has failed to respond to other treatments.
These mechanisms have to do with blocking the receptor in the brain for a chemical N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) that when activated can lead to stress and depression. It has also been found to increase the amount of a substance in the brain called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which has the ability to ameliorate stress and depression and protect against it.
Is Ketamine for Depression Safe?
Many clinical trials have found IV Ketamine administration is a very safe and well-tolerated treatment. If you decide to try this treatment, you will be monitored for the entire course of treatment as well as for an hour afterward and be in frequent contact with the clinicians administering your treatment.
Ketamine has long been an FDA approved drug, but at this time is used off-label for the treatment of depression. Despite this, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recognized the usefulness of this medication and has put forth guidelines for its use.
Ketamine Treatment at Thrive Wellness Groups
The Thrive Wellness Group wants you to feel better, and Ketamine may be the solution that you need. If you have a long history of trying anti-depressant after anti-depressant with nothing seeming to help, or only partially helping, it may be time to try something different.