Ketamine Treatment for Depression: How It Works and Helps

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.

How Ketamine Infusion Therapy is a Leading Treatment for Migraines and Other Chronic Pain

How Ketamine Infusion Therapy is a Leading Treatment for Migraines and Other Chronic Pain

What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine treatment is a novel intervention that has been found to have many therapeutic uses, despite its history as a party drug. Along with being a street drug, Ketamine has a history as an anesthetic, particularly in soldiers during the Vietnam War.

At lower doses, it has been found to relieve pain and lessen the need for opioid-type painkillers after surgery and other chronic pain management. Some other conditions that Ketamine treatment may help are severe migraines, phantom limb pain, and restless leg syndrome.

Ketamine infusion therapy involves the administration of this medicine intravenously in a doctor’s office over a length of time. A single Ketamine infusion may last up to 40 minutes to several hours, depending on the condition being treated. You will then be required to remain at the clinic for about an hour for observation. You will need another person to drive you home after treatment.

Treatment with Ketamine is very fast-acting, and a single treatment may improve your pain, although you will most likely be asked to receive several treatments per week.

Ketamine Migraine Treatment
There are a plethora of migraine treatments on the market, and one is not better than another. The best treatment for severe migraines is the one that works for you, whether it be a mainstream or alternative remedy. That may be Ketamine.

If you have tried many other interventions to ease your migraines to no avail, trying Ketamine infusion therapy may be an option as it has shown very promising results in the treatment of migraine.

It works by essentially calming the nervous system down and blocking the pain signals to your brain that result in a migraine.

Ketamine for Phantom Limb Pain Treatment
Phantom limb pain is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs after a limb has been amputated and the individual continues to ‘feel’ pain in the limb that is no longer there.

Phantom limb pain treatment is quite difficult and often does not respond to historically used painkillers. Research has shown that ketamine infusions can significantly help or even completely relive this type of pain.

Ketamine for Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition the cause of which is not well understood. It is a feeling of restlessness in your legs at rest, usually occurring at night, and makes the individual feel as though they need to get up and walk around in order to relieve the discomfort. It is believed to be a result of overactivity of a receptor in the brain for NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate).

Ketamine suppresses the activity of this by binding to the NMDA receptor, not allowing the NMDA to be activated and thus lessening the signals allowing for the discomfort of RLS. RLS has also been historically difficult to find an adequate treatment for, and Ketamine infusions are showing great relief of Restless Leg Syndrome.

Ketamine for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treatment
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) typically occurs as the result of an injury to a nerve or other trauma without specific or unknown nerve damage.

After you have tried other option such as painkillers, steroids, or nerve blocks and you continue to suffer with CRPS pain, Ketamine infusion therapy may bring relief. Again, it works by blocking a receptor in the brain resulting in the pain that you are experiencing.

Ketamine infusion therapy is a very promising new intervention for the management of pain.

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Ketamine Therapy for Depression

The Dangers of Depression

If you suffer from extended periods of anxiety, sleeplessness, agitation, or forgetfulness, you may be experiencing the first signs of depression. If left untreated, this mental illness can have potentially devastating consequences – an increased risk of heart disease, substance abuse, and other mental disorders. Nearly 15 million Americans suffer from depression every year, including men, women, and children – but the key to recovery is available through psychotherapy and options like ketamine infusion therapy.

What is Depression?

Per the Mayo Clinic, depression is greater than a weakness to be overthrown: “Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”

What is Ketamine?

According to Harvard Medical School: “The drug ketamine is a promising treatment for some people with major depression. It can be given as an IV infusion or a nasal spray. Because it works quickly, it could be an important tool in helping people who are suicidal.” The drug was originally used as a battlefield anesthetic during Vietnam but has evolved into a treatment therapy for mental health disorders and their symptoms, like sadness, agitation, irritability.

How Does Ketamine Therapy for Depression Treatment Work?

When dispensed via infusion therapy, ketamine is known to work quickly, within one or two sessions – far quicker than other kinds of medications such as antidepressants. The drug should never be administered by anyone other than a physician or licensed clinician, and never outside of a doctor’s office or clinic.
In 2019, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved a ketamine-derived drug called esketamine, the first time a new drug had been greenlit to treat depression in decades. In this case, it is dispensed as a nasal spray and offers similar therapeutic benefits in fighting depression as IV ketamine infusion.

Complications of Depression

Depression is a severe mental health disorder that affects millions of people globally without discrimination. The condition can have a horrendous toll on you and your loved ones. Depression often worsens if it is not treated in a timely fashion, resulting in behavioral, emotional, and health troubles that affect all aspects of your life. The condition may necessitate long-term treatment. But leave discouragement out of the picture. Most people suffering from depression feel healthier with psychotherapy, medication, or both.

Examples of complications related to depression include:

Excess obesity or weight, which can result in diabetes and heart disease
Physical illness or pain
Drug or alcohol misuse
Anxiety, social phobia, or panic disorder
Family disputes, relationship troubles, and school or work problems
Social isolation
Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
Self-mutilation, like cutting yourself
Early death from medical issues.

Symptoms of Depression

The warning signs of depression are different for everyone, often driven by a combination of current mental and physical health, and the stressors of daily life. Symptoms of depression can include any of the following, either by themselves or combined:

  • Constant anxiety or sadness
  • Low moods
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Petulance
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and pastimes
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Moving or talking slowly
  • You have trouble sitting still
  • You have problems remembering, concentrating, decision making
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite, diet, weight
  • You are preoccupied with suicide or death

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

Like other mental health disorders, depression is normally diagnosed in a doctor’s office or by a clinician and may include any or all of these four components:

  • A physical exam performed by a medical doctor or licensed healthcare professional to eliminate any medical issues resulting in symptoms. You will be asked about personal and family medical history.
  • A mental health evaluation performed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other licensed mental health professional. You will be asked about your feelings, thoughts, and behavior problems in detail.
  • Reviewing a record of your daily moods.
  • Reviewing the DSM-5 to gauge criteria for the illness.

Is Ketamine A Viable Treatment Option for You?

Depression is a severe but treatable mental health illness whose symptoms like sleeplessness, agitation, anger, and worry should not be ignored. It is not something to be ashamed of.

If you or a loved one needs help with depression, ask your doctor or therapist today about treatment options which might present the greatest chance of success for your condition, including the use of esketamine nasal spray or IV ketamine infusion therapy to help with your depression.

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Is Ketamine Treatment Safe?

Ketamine: An Old Drug for A New Treatment

Millions of people globally suffer from physical disorders and mental health illnesses which can result in the inability to function. The emotional and physical strain of these conditions can not only seem everlasting but also cause more severe ailments with devastating consequences.

Thankfully, many patients use ordinary and widely available therapy options, including psychotherapy, anti-depressants, and physical therapy. A growing number of patients are now choosing ketamine treatment, but can it safely relieve their distress?

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine was created in the early 1960s, gaining prominence as a combat anesthetic used on American frontline troops fighting in Vietnam. The drug is also commonplace in veterinary medicine. For more than 50 years, however, the drug’s mind-altering and psychedelic influences have been well documented. Today, the drug is earning approval as a treatment for numerous mental health illnesses, as well as symptoms related to chronic pain. Ketamine is available as infusion therapy or nasal spray.

How Safe is Ketamine?

According to the experts at MedicalNewsToday, “Ketamine is safe to use in controlled medical practice. Used outside the approved limits, its adverse mental and physical health effects can be hazardous similar to other types of drugs.

The drug and its esketamine derivative are only dispensed as a prescription from a licensed medical professional. You should never take medication given by anyone without validating its legality and safety.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Dr. Steven Levine, MD, promotes the clinical use of ketamine when other antidepressants fail to treat depression. When administered by infusion therapy, the effects typically can last for days to weeks. “Generally, it’s administered in a tapering sequence in which patients receive three infusions the first week, two in the second week, once weekly for the next three weeks, and then moving to the maintenance of on average once per month,” he said.

Ketamine has also been used to manage symptoms of bipolar disorder but is not generally prescribed for patients with mania, active psychosis, or unstable cardiovascular disease. It is prescribed for children in rare cases.

Dr. Ming Kao celebrates infusion therapy, promoting its power to dull pain through the drug’s metabolite created by the human liver. In the field of pain medicine, ketamine is used to treat chronic pain conditions involving central sensitization, or additional sensitivity throughout the senses.

Ketamine Nasal Spray

Spravato, the brand name of a ketamine nasal spray, received approval in 2019. “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Psychopharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee jointly voted in favor of Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray CIII for adults living with treatment-resistant depression.”

An article in PharmacyTimes Online said Spravato “is a glutamate receptor modulator, thought to help restore synaptic connections in brain cells in people with major depressive disorder. It is believed to have a novel mechanism of action, meaning it is thought to work differently than currently available therapies for major depressive disorder.”

Common Question about Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Are ketamine infusions safe?

Ketamine has been utilized in operating rooms and on battlefields as an anesthetic and painkiller since the 1960s. When administered by an experienced physician or clinician, the drug when used for depression is especially safe—and extremely effective.

Will ketamine be effective for me?

Every patient is different. Research over the last several years has shown the drug to be surprisingly effective for treating depression and other mental illnesses. Research has shown ketamine infusions to be useful in about 70 percent of patients, many of whom were resistant to other kinds of depression treatment. You should know within a few sessions whether ketamine will be helpful for your condition.

What kinds of side effects should I expect?

The most frequent side effects are mild nausea, drowsiness, and a short-term boost in blood pressure. Blood pressure and heart rate are closely monitored during infusion therapy. There are less widespread side effects like agitation, vivid dreams, or moodiness. Any of these reactions should be immediately relayed to your doctor or clinic staff who may adjust the dosage for future sessions. Any side effects usually subside in an hour.

Is Ketamine A Good Option for You?

Though ketamine itself has a nearly 60-year history, its medicinal use in treating symptoms of mental health illnesses has only been explored for about two decades. Based on your conditions, symptoms, and under the right circumstances, the drug may help minimize distress from depression, anxiety, bipolar, and other mental health illnesses.

If you or a loved one has questions about the clinical use of ketamine please contact Thrive Wellness Groups today to learn more.

Thrive Wellness Groups

540O Maryland Way Ste 100

Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: (615) 712-8712