If ketamine isn’t a first-line treatment for depression then why is ketamine therapy for depression so popular?
To start, depression is extremely common in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 2013 and 2016 approximately 10% of women and 6% of men (8% of American adults aged 20 and up) have suffered from depression at any one time.
How does it work? One idea is that ketamine treats depression by blocking a neurotransmitter called glutamate from binding to the NMDA receptor, and stopping signals from cascading across the brain.
The news about the effects of ketamine to fight depression sound promising. Studies suggest that ketamine can relieve depression symptoms in only a few hours though the drug may relieve pain for as long as two weeks.
Patients who might want to consider ketamine therapy for depression must go to a ketamine infusion clinic and undergo an intravenous injection which requires time and monitoring – though a nasal spray form (esketamine) is being reviewed as a treatment for people at risk of suicide due to depression.
Ketamine clinics focus on a smaller subset of patients with “refractory” or “treatment-resistant” depression. Approximately one-third of people with depression don’t respond to common treatments like talk therapy and antidepressants.
Intravenous ketamine treatments clinics provide aren’t the same as a normal injection like a flu shot. Patients are hooked up to an IV for approximately 40 minutes. Even though most side effects tends to dissipate with 15-30 minutes, patients aren’t allowed to drive home after the infusion.
Many people continue to struggle with depression even after trying psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. If you or someone you love has ongoing severe or major depression, ketamine therapy for depression can help.
At KureIV, we offer low-dose ketamine infusions for depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders. Ketamine infusions have been shown to be an effective treatment for people struggling with depression.