When dealing with a serious diagnosis like depression and other mood disorders, investigating treatment options is vital.
If contemplating intravenous ketamine as a clinical approach to treating stubborn depression, here are a seven things to consider before starting the IV drip.
1 – Understand your history of depression
Although it is not generally suitable for mild depression, patients suffering from prolonged treatment resistant depression may want to try ketamine. Research has shown that sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine administered intravenously in a safe clinical setting have been shown to be a fast acting antidepressant for severe debilitating depression and mood disorders.
2 – Make sure to check your vitals
If you have elevated blood pressure, it is important to check with your doctor prior to treatment, as changes in blood pressure have been reported when ketamine is administered. Increase in heart rate and blood pressure should be monitored before and after treatments to avoid any potential risk.
3 – Make sure all other treatment options have been exhausted
Ketamine should not be the first line of defense, it is reserved for severe cases of depression where symptoms have been unresponsive to conventional psychiatric medications and treatments. Where other treatments have failed, ketamine may be the best alternative for a patient in need.
4 – Remember, ketamine is to be used to compliment a larger treatment plan
Unfortunately, you cannot stop everything else and take ketamine only. Although it is fast acting and effective, clinicians have found that it is most effective when paired with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Ultimately, when incorporating ketamine, it should be considered within a larger comprehensive treatment framework.
5 – There are potential side effects
No drug is without side effects, so it is important to research the potential reactions. Read our blog post on some of the side effects of ketamine.
6 – There will most likely be immediate relief
Unlike antidepressants, which can sometimes take a week or longer to take effect, ketamine works within hours. This means patients are able to experience symptom relief faster returning them to normal functioning in no time.
7 – Ketamine is an alternative to electro-convulsive therapy
The traditional approach for rapid intervention in cases of severe depression in patients has often been electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), also known as shock therapy. However, recent research has shown that for patients struggling to achieve remission of severe depressive symptoms, intravenous ketamine may be a preferred alternative due to its rapid antidepressant effects and overall success.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression and want to know if you are a good candidate for this treatment option, call today to make an appointment.