Ketamine is not new to the medicine scene. However, this dissociative anesthetic is not yet widely recognized as a treatment for depression. Here, we share information about this legal medication, and how it is used to successfully treat various mood-related disorders that have otherwise been adverse to routine treatments.
Ketamine used to Treat Depression
Ketamine has been around for more than six decades and gained tremendous popularity during the Vietnam War when medics employed it to treat soldiers on the battlefield. It would remain as a treatment for various physical ailments and as an anesthetic for surgery until 2006 when the medical community began exploring alternative uses for ketamine.
The Evidence behind Ketamine
In a randomized controlled study of ketamine treatment for mood disorders, many patients reported relief within a few hours of treatment, while still others reported relief within a few days. These results were in huge contrast to standard depression medication like SSRIs that could take weeks to work effectively (not to mention the trial-and-error method often used to determine the most successful SSRI).
Ketamine’s Controversial Nature
Since 2006, ketamine treatment for mood disorders has become more common and accepted, however it still leaves some skeptical. Like many prescription drugs, ketamine is occasionally abused for recreational purposes. While it doesn’t have any properties that cause physical dependence, it has been known to cause psychological dependence in those who misuse the drug. By earning a reputation as a recreational drug, ketamine as a medicinal treatment has a difficult time pushing past stigmas. When administered intravenously under the care of a physician, ketamine will not lead to addiction and has actually been used to treat addiction to other substances.
Physicians’ Hesitation with Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine as a depression treatment isn’t patented and there are no pharmaceutically-backed incentives at the moment. Esketamine – an isolated component of ketamine – is a pharmaceutical drug recently approved by the USDA and patented by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. While it also treats depression, there are no studies that show it as being more effective than regular ketamine infusion therapy treatments. Intravenous ketamine has lower profitability for big pharma and therefore won’t be pursued and marketed publicly as a safe and effective treatment for treatment resistant mood disorders by well-known pharmaceutical companies. Because the dosage can be adjusted in real time and combined with other treatments that augment the effects of dissociation, we believe intravenous ketamine is the superior method to treat resistant mood disorders and chronic pain conditions.
Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy Right For Me?
Before we start a patient on infusion treatments, we discuss their medical history, take into consideration all failed depression treatments, and conduct an in-depth consultation to ensure that ketamine infusion will be a healthy and safe alternative. Ketamine infusion therapy can treat many types of disorders, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. If you have struggled with one or many of these medical issues and have failed to find a successful treatment, ketamine therapy could be a wonderful alternative option.
At Infuse Ketamine, our experienced doctors have spent years researching and studying this drug and its effect on individuals with mood disorders. They have personally witnessed the transformations of many patients and stand behind it as an alternative mood disorder treatment. Contact us to learn more and discuss whether ketamine infusion treatment is right for you.