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How Has Ketamine Revolutionized Long Term Depression Treatment?
December 27, 2022 at 6:00 AM
How Has Ketamine Revolutionized Long Term Depression Treatment?

Starting in 1970, ketamine (or esketamine) was approved for use as an anesthetic in the United States. But around the 1990s, research on ketamine as a potential treatment option for major depressive disorder began. And in 2019, the FDA approved the nasal spray esketamine as a treatment for depression.

Today, ketamine can be administered via IV therapy in psychiatric and other clinical settings across the country — providing a safe and effective treatment option for numerous individuals struggling with mental health disorders.

How is Ketamine Used as a Treatment for Long-Term Depression?

Ketamine is an effective treatment option for anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and bipolar disorder. Most notably, ketamine has been found to be especially helpful in alleviating symptoms of treatment-resistant depression or chronic depression. Research also suggests that ketamine may be more effective than traditional pharmaceuticals.

As a treatment, IV infusions of ketamine are given across six 40-minute sessions spaced out over two or three weeks. The dose of ketamine you’re given depends on your weight. This dose is not enough to cause a loss of consciousness.

The effects of ketamine are often described as a mild euphoria, and most people find the treatment to be a pleasent experience. While it is possible to experience some anxiety or dissociation, these symptoms usually pass quickly. After a ketamine infusion, you’re likely to feel drowsy, but will start to feel normal again after an hour or so.

For most people, ketamine treatment begins providing relief after their first few sessions, but some experience relief during their very first session. After six sessions are completed, many people experience long-term relief from their depressive symptoms, but may come back for additional infusion sessions after some time has passed. Since ketamine has minimal long-term side effects, it’s becoming the preferred choice for those with treatment-resistant depression who haven’t experienced benefits from their medications.

Who Could Benefit from Ketamine Treatments?

Many people with mental health conditions may find that ketamine treatments alleviate their symptoms.

Specifically, you might benefit from ketamine infusions if:

  • You’ve experienced depressive symptoms for several years
  • You haven’t found relief from your anxiety, depression, bipolar, OCD, or PTSD symptoms with traditional medication like SSRIs
  • Your therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist thinks your condition could be helped with ketamine

While SSRIs are often helpful for mental health conditions, overtime, they may become less effective, and it can be more challenging to find a medication that works for you.

But how exactly are ketamine and SSRIs different? If they both are considered long-term treatments for depression, how does ketamine treat depression differently than SSRIs?

The Difference Between Ketamine and Other Depression Treatments Like SSRIs

SSRIs, which is short for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, treat depression by elevating the amount of serotonin in the brian. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for carrying signals between brain nerve cells. SSRIs help boost the transmission of messages between neurons. Low serotonin is thought to cause depression because lower serotonin levels may make it more difficult to process emotions.

However, serotonin is just one neurotransmitter that might be the cause of someone’s depression. Other neurotransmitters, like glutamate, make up 80% of the brain’s neurotransmitters and help regulate mood.

Ketamine may stimulate glutamate production and thus, lead to new connections and neural pathways in the brain.

Ready to See if Ketamine May Be the Right Treatment for Your Long-Term Depression or Other Mental Health Conditions? Call Now to Schedule an Appointment.

At Long Island Ketamine Infusions, we offer a no-judgment zone and are here to answer your questions, concerns, and help you determine if ketamine may be right for you. Call us now to learn more.