Developed in 1960, Ketamine is one of only two anesthetics officially described by the World Health Organization as an essential drug, which historically has been used on patients undergoing various surgeries. More recently, a derivative of ketamine called Esketamine has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for depression and some pain-related issues. Developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Esketamine is available under the brand name Spravato in nasal spray form.
What is Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine Therapy is mostly used off-label to provide some much-needed relief for people who suffer from severe depression as well as chronic pain. There has also been some very positive results with treatment of severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, or PTSD as well. The research conducted on Ketamine Infusion Therapy has proven that it is not only safe to use, but it is a highly effectual antidepressant. The rapid effects of this type of therapy can also be used to successfully decrease suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
How Does It Work?
Instead of inhibiting serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine uptake like most antidepressants, Ketamine blocks the NMDA receptor while regulating the chemicals that are known to cause depression. Studies have shown that an average of between 50% to 80% of patients who suffer from treatment-resistant depression can be successfully treated with Ketamine Therapy.
Are The Results Effective?
Due the rapid effects of Ketamine Therapy which can also last for a longer duration, many psychologists actually prefer prescribing it over the more traditionally used medicines. This is because Ketamine work solely on the NMDA receptor, whereas other drugs don’t start to work until after the production of serotonin has increased which takes time.
Are There Differences Between Depression And Chronic Pain Infusions?
The Ketamine Infusion Therapies used to treat both depression and chronic pain are quite similar, but there some key differences. For example, the chronic pain treatments require a longer therapy session as well as a higher dose of ketamine.
Is Ketamine Therapy Safe?
Thankfully, Ketamine does not generally suppress the respiratory or cardiovascular systems in the body. And decades of research has proven that Ketamine Infusion Therapies are very safe, with minimal side effects, provided they are administered by a trained physician in a controlled medical setting.
How Successful Is This Treatment?
Studies from multiple sources such as the Mayo Clinic have shown that an average of approximately 70% of all patients have a positive response to Ketamine Therapy.
Where To From Here?
Advancements in both medicine and science which brought about the discovery of just how effective Ketamine can be as treatment for these conditions has changed many aspects of clinical psychiatry. Because it is so effective, there is an increasing number of practicing physicians prescribing this as a treatment for people with both mental health issues as well as chronic pain. With no known signs of any long-term side effects, plus fast-acting and long-lasting effects, Ketamine Therapy is fast becoming a common treatment option for many patients suffering with these issues.