While many people all over the world suffer from depression, a surprisingly large number of them are not receiving the help they need. A lot of people have tried numerous methods and medications that didn’t work and are now desperate for a remedy. Luckily, Ketamine is another option available to treat depression in some people. Not everyone should use Ketamine, such as children or people with certain conditions.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a medication generally used as an anesthetic. However, it is now known that Ketamine can also be a beneficial alternative treatment to those with debilitating depression. Although it is not yet FDA approved for the treatment of depression, it can be used for another use not specified on the label. Many medications have off-label uses. Some patients who have exhausted SSRI medications with no positive change can try Ketamine as a last resort. PTSD patients also benefit from Ketamine infusions when other methods fail. Unfortunately, Ketamine is very expensive. It is estimated to cost between $300-$450 per session, though it seems insurance issues may be improving.
What makes Ketamine different from SSRIs?
While SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) focus on increasing serotonin levels, Ketamine uses a completely different process. It helps to repair the damage done to the brain from stress hormones building up over time. It is capable of increasing the brain’s plasticity. Ketamine is fast-acting, whereas SSRIs can take anywhere from weeks to months to build up in your system. SSRIs generally have adverse side effects that can be long-lasting. Ketamine, on the other hand, has only mild side effects that do not last long.
What does a treatment session consist of?
In the medical facility, there is a chair set up for the patient to wait in. Once sitting comfortably, The patient is given an IV (Intravenous) infusion of Ketamine in the arm. Generally, the schedule for the ketamine infusions is as follows: The first week has three treatments. The second week consists of two treatments. From there, they taper off to once weekly for three more weeks. After that, the infusions are typically maintained on a once-a-month basis.
How does the treatment feel? What are the results?
Some patients who receive Ketamine treatments describe feeling drowsy during the infusion. It is common for a patient to feel floaty or disconnected for a short time. Patients describe the after-effects of the treatment as feeling as if a weight was lifted. They also felt as if they could think more clearly. Patients also have a heightened functional capacity. At The Ketamine Medical Clinic,the results were incomparable with SSRI treatment results. Between 75-80% of Ketamine treated patients felt better afterward, while only 35-40% of SSRI treated patients felt better.
Where to find Ketamine Treatment
Fortunately, many locations provide Ketamine infusions for depression. One of the providers, for example, Klarisana, has locations for Ketamine treatment in Austin, San Antonio, Denver, and Carlsbad. For Ketamine treatment in Austin’s surrounding areas of Texas, There are separate providers located in Houston, Fort Worth, and Southlake. There are many other providers across the map for patients who need Ketamine infusions.
For many people seeking help for their depression, it feels like a hopeless, uphill battle. After trying one ineffective SSRI after another, it can be extremely difficult to see the light. However, with further studies on Ketamine and treatments becoming more available, the light at the end of the tunnel might not be so far away. Ketamine has the potential to help many struggling people have a better quality of life.