Ketamine had a controversial history over the years, used initially for pain management and anesthesia in the 1960s, then considered to be a “drug of abuse” and finally now one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of severe depression.
“Outside of the clinic, ketamine can cause tragedies, but in the right hands, it is a miracle,” says John Abenstein, MD, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Ketamine start relieving the symptoms of depression fairly quickly, sometimes after only one session unlike antidepressants that take several weeks to start working. Multiple clinical trials suggest that a single low dose (0.5mg/kg) of IV ketamine results in a 50–70% response rate in patients with treatment resistant depression. Wan L, Levitch CF, Perez AM, et al. Ketamine safety and tolerability in clinical trials for treatment resistant depression. J Clin Psychiatry 2015;76:247–52.
Researchers aren’t sure exactly why ketamine helps depression but one theory is that ketamine stimulates connections to regrow between brain cells that are involved in mood regulation. The blockade of NMDA-type glutamate receptors may also be a mechanism of action as Ketamine is a glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist.
Depression of Bipolar DIsorder also improves afer ketamine therapy and IV ketamine was also reported as efficacious in the treatment of PTSD. Feder A, Parides MK, Murrough JW, et al. Efficacy of intravenous ketamine for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry 2014;71:681–8.
Some studies also show that the cognitive impairment (forgetfulness, lack of concentration) associated with severe depression can be improved by ketamine. Chen MH, Li CT, Lin WC, et al. Cognitive function of patients with treatment-resistent depression after a single low dose of ketamine infusion. J Affect Disord. 2018; 241:1-7.
“Recent data suggest that ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,” says Thomas Insel, MD, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health
What should I know before my treatments?
Be sure to arrange for someone to take you home, as many people experience drowsiness after their infusion therapy. Feel free to take a light meal and take any normal medications before you arrive. We recommend staying as hydrated as possible before your treatment, but do your best to avoid caffeinated beverages.
What does treatment feel like?
The effects of the Ketamine reach the brain within seconds, and it may become difficult for you to converse normally. However, you will not lose consciousness or awareness of your surroundings.. We highly recommend going into your treatment feeling optimistic and relaxed. Our team will do everything we can to ensure your treatment is as positive as possible.
For details regarding your ketamine treatment please click here
At Bionuu, we believe in providing treatment that improves your day-to-day life, both inside and out.
To learn exactly what we can do for you, please get in touch with our team. We would be happy to walk you through the process before you begin. It would be our pleasure to provide lasting, relaxing relief for your depression and pain.