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Ketamine Infusion Therapy: A Launching Pad for the Depressed

Jul 26, 2017 3:33:11 PM

Blog - ketamine infusion therapy

In recent years, there has been growing interest in ketamine infusion therapy as a promising treatment for various mental health conditions. From refractory depression to chronic pain, ketamine has shown remarkable potential in providing relief where other treatments have fallen short. But what exactly are ketamine infusions, and how safe and effective are they?

In this blog, we'll delve into the fundamentals of ketamine infusion therapy, explore its safety profile, discuss its outcomes, and outline post-treatment strategies for optimizing its benefits.

  1. What Are Ketamine Infusions?

  2. Is Ketamine Safe?

  3. Ketamine Infusion Therapy: The Remarkable Outcomes

  4. Post-Treatment Strategies for Ketamine Therapy

Close up of IV Drip

What are Ketamine Infusions?

Ketamine, primarily known as an anesthetic agent, has gained attention for its rapid-acting antidepressant properties when administered in sub-anesthetic doses. Ketamine infusion therapy involves the intravenous administration of ketamine in a controlled medical setting. The dosage and duration of infusions vary depending on the individual's condition and response to treatment.

Is Ketamine Safe?

When faced with something innovative and unfamiliar, humans tend to react with unease and apprehension. It's natural for challenges to the status quo to stir up discomfort and fear. (See why more means better when dealing with ketamine clinics)

Depending on your age, your background, and your culture, you may have no prior knowledge of ketamine, or ketamine infusions, or you might associate it with hallucinations, drug abuse, or other unsavory images. Concerns about the use of ketamine to treat depression are legitimate and include the drug's potential for abuse/dependence and the long-term safety of the treatment, as not enough longitudinal data has been aggregated.

Ketamine is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines and has a remarkably safe track record when used in clinical settings. (Here are 4 Items to Look For in a Top Rated Ketamine Clinic) The dosage of ketamine administered for the treatment of refractory depression is about half to one-third the amount you would receive during a surgical procedure. The dosage is sub-dissociative and subanesthetic, administered at a low dose and a slow rate (45-55 minutes). 

Safety is a paramount concern when considering any medical treatment, and ketamine infusion therapy is no exception. While ketamine is generally safe when administered by trained professionals in appropriate doses, it does carry potential risks and side effects. These may include:

  • Transient increases in blood pressure and heart rate during infusion.
  • Dissociative effects, such as feelings of detachment from reality.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Potential for dependence or misuse, particularly with repeated use.

However, it's essential to note that adverse effects are typically mild and short-lived, especially under careful medical supervision.

Ketamine INFUSION Therapy: The Remarkable Outcomes

Research on the efficacy of ketamine infusion therapy for the treatment of depression was first published in 2000 and continues today, with clinical trials in progress and outpatient clinics popping up across the U.S. Empirical evidence is there, with some research outcomes suggesting up to a 78% success rate. 

The outcomes of ketamine infusion therapy can vary from person to person and depend on several factors, including the individual's condition, treatment protocol, and response to ketamine. However, research and clinical experience have shown promising results in the following areas:

  1. Depression: Ketamine has demonstrated rapid and robust antidepressant effects, often providing relief within hours or days, compared to weeks or months with traditional antidepressants.

  2. Anxiety Disorders: Ketamine may alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder.

  3. Chronic Pain: Ketamine infusion therapy has shown efficacy in managing chronic pain conditions, such as neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

  4. Suicidal Ideation: Ketamine's rapid antidepressant effects have shown promise in reducing suicidal ideation and preventing suicide attempts, particularly in individuals with treatment-resistant depression.

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Post-Treatment Strategies for Ketamine Therapy

While ketamine infusion therapy can provide significant relief, the journey toward sustainable mental wellness doesn't end with the last infusion. Here are some post-treatment strategies to optimize the benefits of ketamine therapy:

  1. Psychotherapy: Combining ketamine therapy with psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or mindfulness-based approaches, can enhance and prolong its effects by addressing underlying psychological factors.

  2. Medication Management: Continuation or adjustment of concurrent medications, such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers, may be necessary to maintain stability and prevent relapse.

  3. Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, and stress management techniques, can complement ketamine therapy and support overall mental well-being.

  4. Follow-Up Infusions: For some individuals, periodic maintenance infusions may be recommended to sustain the therapeutic effects of ketamine over time.

  5. Ongoing Monitoring: Regular follow-up appointments with healthcare providers allow for monitoring of symptoms, adjustment of treatment strategies as needed, and early intervention if relapse occurs.

The hope and intention in providing ketamine to the severely depressed is that, in experiencing relief from depression, patients will be able to function again and actually engage in healthy, therapeutic activities and processes - processes that equip them to cope more effectively next time depression rears its ugly head. Post-ketamine infusion therapy is an ideal time to see a counselor, start journaling, schedule quality time with a friend, join a health club, or practice yoga and meditation.

Take a few minutes to listen to this compelling interview about ketamine on NPR:

Neuromend and Ketamine

The utilization of IV ketamine therapy represents a paradigm shift in mental health care, offering hope and healing to individuals grappling with treatment-resistant conditions. By embracing the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and prioritizing patient-centered care, we can forge a path towards a more compassionate and inclusive approach to mental wellness.

At NeuroMend, we specialize in delivering ketamine infusion therapy, offering the most optimal and secure pathway to relief. If you or someone dear to you is in need of immediate relief, do not hesitate to reach out to us today to arrange a consultation.

Disclaimer: As of September 29, 2023, NeuroMend no longer offers Spravato treatments. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage you to consult with our team or your healthcare provider for alternative options.

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Neuromend Team

Written by Neuromend Team

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