Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Severe Depression

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Severe Depression from Springs Health LLC in Columbia, MD According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, depression is the second most prevalent mental health illness in the USA, often prompting the need for therapy. Depression impacts sufferers both professionally and personally, affecting self-esteem and other aspects of one's life. There are standard treatments for depression, and when these do not work, certain patients may benefit from ketamine infusion therapy. Read on to learn more.

An overview of ketamine infusion therapy

Depression is often treated with a mix of drugs, particularly antidepressants, and psychotherapy treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. It typically takes four to six weeks for antidepressants to kick in, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, there are cases when a patient might not notice any significant improvement, despite using different medications, therapies, and various treatment combinations. Traditional therapy and medications will not be effective for everyone, and such cases are called treatment-resistant.

Patients with severe and treatment-resistant depression can now be treated with ketamine. This article looks at how ketamine infusion therapy works to treat depression, as well as its effectiveness and possible adverse effects.

What is ketamine infusion therapy?

Ketamine is classified as a dissociative anesthetic, which means it alters a person's sense of sight and sound and causes emotions of detachment from their surroundings (dissociation) while also functioning as a pain reliever (anesthetic).

Ketamine is also classified as a hallucinogen. However, ketamine is only classified as a hallucinogen since substances like LSD, peyote, salvia, PCP, and psilocybin (mushrooms) are all classified as hallucinogens.

Ketamine can potentially treat post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and chronic and severe pain.

Ketamine as a treatment for severe depression

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ketamine for treatment-resistant or severe depression. Before the FDA approval, ketamine had been used as an off-label treatment for severe depression for years. Antidepressants target different brain functions compared to ketamine, as it inhibits the NMDA receptor rather than serotonin receptors.

Ketamine was given intravenously before it was FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression. Following FDA approval, individuals may use it as a nasal spray under medical supervision.

Individuals with severe depression can get ketamine at a psychiatrist's office. They will be monitored for about two hours in the office before they return home. Due to ketamine's dissociative qualities, the person needs to be monitored while under its effect.

To get approval for ketamine infusion, a person must presently be on another antidepressant, and ketamine may only be given to those who have severe or treatment-resistant depression.

IV ketamine is typically given at a gradual, regulated pace for 40 minutes. The infusion dosage is determined based on the patient's weight and then adjusted for tolerability. A treatment course generally consists of six to eight infusions spread out over three to four weeks.

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In conclusion

Ketamine infusion is a potential therapy option for severe depression which is resistant to other treatments, with favorable outcomes in terms of depression and suicidal thoughts. With this drug, certain patients now have a shot at remarkable improvements. To learn more, contact our psychiatry office today.

Request an appointment or call Springs Health LLC at 410-772-0774 for an appointment in our Columbia office.