• Dr. Wikins

What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy? How it Works and Helps Severe Depression

How does ketamine work?

Ketamine intervenes with the actions of glutamate and the NMDA receptors, which are glutamate receptors found in nerve cells. Glutamate is a chemical in the brain that affects cognition, emotion, and pain perception. It is found to be associated with depression

What conditions does Ketamine treat?

Ketamine most commonly is used for treatment-resistant depression. It has also been used for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Mood disorders and pain.

How is Ketamine administered?

Most commonly Ketamine is administered intravenously. Recently a nasal spray has been introduced, but it is not as commonly used.

What will I feel like while getting the treatment?

Ketamine is a dissociative medication, meaning there will be an alteration in your sense of sight, your sense of sound, and your connection to your surroundings. It is possible that you may experience hallucinations. Most people feel very relaxed during the ketamine procedure.

How effective is Ketamine treatment?

The results of Ketamine are seen almost immediately, unlike other depression medications that typically take weeks. The improvements in mood are often very noticeable.

How long will the treatment last?

The infusions typically last 40 minutes. You will need to be monitored for at least 30 minutes after the treatment. You will be prohibited from driving for 24 hours.

What are the chances it will work for me?

Clinical research shows that approximately 70% of people will respond to Ketamine treatment.

What are the risks?

Ketamine is a strong sedative so you need to be monitored by a healthcare professional trained in acute medicine. There is a rare chance that heavy sedation could cause respiratory depression. Ketamine can cause changes in blood pressure that require fast-acting blood pressure medicine. It is possible to have anxiety while in the sedated state that rarely requires immediate anxiety medicine.

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