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Ketamine vs ECT: Which Is Best For Resistant Depression

Jul 28, 2020 4:04:25 PM

Ketamine vs ECT Which Is Best For Resistant Depression - NeuroMendFor years, when many physicians or patients hear about or experience treatment resistant depression, they have been conditioned to think about resorting to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).

Read on to discover the differences and benefits of ECT and Ketamine infusions as they pertain to improving or curing treatment resistant depression.

ECT feels about as good as it sounds. Usually, this therapy consists of a patient receiving brief electrical pulses or shocks over the scalp while thankfully being completely under anesthesia, usually every other day for a week or two.

But what more and more patients and clinicians are coming to discover is that Ketamine infusions are showing lots of promise as the go to therapy to treatment resistant depression.

Ketamine vs Esketamine | NeuroMend Infusion Center

What is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?

For decades, ECT has been a dramatic, last resort treatment for severe psychiatric disorders.

One of the main disorders being depression that is unresponsive to psychotherapy and antidepressant medications, also known as "Treatment Resistant Depression".

Following weeks of shock therapy, patients are often then placed on one to several specific antidepressant medications while transitioning from their inpatient therapy to more of an outpatient management style of oversight.

Yet, relapse back into depression often occurs, thus necessitating the patient having to return back to ECT inpatient treatment.

Downfalls of ECT for Treatment Resistant Depression

It goes without saying (but we will anyway) that this type of treatment can be extremely costly when adding up the inpatient stay, anesthesia, and psychiatrist fees.

Aside from the financial burden, one of the most common side effects of ECT is memory loss. 

You can see why other forms of treatment, such as Ketamine infusions, are rapidly being hunted down while ECT sits as the "gold standard" treatment for resistant depression.

How Does Ketamine Compare To ECT?

Unlike the slower subjective effects of ECT, Ketamine appears to have a much more rapid and robust anti-depressant effect (aside from the fact that patients are actually conscious during the treatment as opposed to ECT.)

Ketamine is cost effective vs. ECT

Ketamine treatment is also cheaper in comparison to ECT in regard to receiving the actual treatment and not having to take off work for the periods of time required for ECT therapy.

Even though patients may still need to continue their anti-depressant medication for some time following Ketamine treatment (similar to ECT), Ketamine still appears to be the front runner in regard to the effectiveness of treating depression and the lack of disruption to the patient's life to receive the treatment itself.

Research on Ketamine for Depression

There is also current research supporting the use of ketamine for rapid recovery from depressive symptoms and shows that Ketamine can provide a less invasive option for depressed patients, especially when a rapid response is desired.

Many researchers are looking to back this effort as well by setting up new trials testing Ketamine's efficacy in comparison to the burdensome treatment process of ECT. 

How To Get Insurance To Pay For Your Ketamine Infusions | Neuromend Ketamine Infusions

Who Is Ketamine Treatment Best Used For?

Currently, Ketamine infusions are showing benefit and promise for treating severe depression, PTSD, and anxiety.

With proper monitoring, ketamine may eventually be used as a less burdensome, potentially better tolerated, and less expensive alternative to ECT in severely depressed and/or treatment resistant patients.

What treatment is best for you?

If you or someone you know has experienced ECT therapy with no improvement or are looking to try other effective depression treatment avenues prior to resorting to ECT therapy, click below and learn more about Ketamine infusions to improve or treat your depressive symptoms.

Visit our FAQ section to learn more about ketamine infusions and how these can help mitigate your condition.

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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neuromendicon2We are an Evidence-Based Center of Excellence and the leading provider of Ketamine Infusions, IV Infusions and Ketamine Consulting Services for Ketamine Clinics and IV Therapy Clinics.

We Provide Effective Treatment For The Following Conditions: Major Depressive Disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bipolar Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Chronic Migraines, Severe Anxiety, and Fibromyalgia

Neuromend Team

Written by Neuromend Team

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