The Full Ketamine Story
Ketamine once gained popularity as a club drug during the 90s, however, it has recently gained popularity as a new and novel approach to the treatment of depression and chronic pain. Depression affects nearly 30 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of disability between the ages of 15 and 44, costing nearly $210 billion per year in lost productivity and missed days of work. Typical treatment consists of anti-depressant medications that have a 50% effective rate and can take 4-6 weeks to work. Ketamine has been shown to relieve depressant symptoms within 24 hours and has an effective rate of 70% in treatment-resistant depression.
First synthesized in the 1960s, ketamine was found to have potent dissociative and anesthetic properties. It was widely used during the Vietnam war as an effective anesthetic as it did not cause a cardiovascular or respiratory depression like other anesthetics. Studies with ketamine performed at Yale University in the 1990s demonstrated effective relief of depressive symptoms. Ketamine works by blocking the NMDA (glutamate) receptor in the brain, rather than shifting the balance of hormones and neurotransmitters which current anti-depressants do. Since ketamine blocks the NMDA receptor, it changes the way the brain cells communicate which impacts other receptors in the brain including opiate receptors which affect depression and pain responses.
Initial treatment consists of six intravenous infusions over 2-3 weeks and then one infusion as needed afterward. Often times a patient may go several months before requiring another treatment. Short-term side effects may include dissociative state, mild sedation, and possible nausea/dizziness which is easily treated. There have been no long-term side effects reported.
Ketamine has also been shown to help relieve symptoms of chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fibromyalgia, and migraines.
If you are one of the millions of people struggling with depression, have had little success with traditional treatments, or would like to explore ketamine infusions as a potential treatment for chronic pain, your first step should be to have an initial assessment to determine if the therapy is right for you. This would include going over your medical and mental health history and any medications that you may be currently taking. It is also important to relay any history of current or past substance abuse — addiction struggles will not necessarily disqualify you. In fact, ketamine treatment may provide an added benefit in dealing with addiction issues.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy, performed by a qualified medical professional, can be an incredible tool in dealing with major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression, and chronic pain.
If you would like to learn more about Ketamine Infusion Treatments, please call Enhanced Wellness today!