Understanding Ketamine As An Antidepressant

Health & Medical Blog

Severe depression can be debilitating. Many people with depression try multiple medications and don't have great success with any of them. Still, it is important to find an effective treatment as soon as possible, since severe depression can lead to suicidal thoughts that may end in self-harm.

One drug that is being studied for its ability to positively impact depression is ketamine. Here is some information about the drug and how it may help as an antidepressant.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a drug that was once used as an anesthetic but may help to treat depression. As an anesthetic, ketamine can help soothe pain. Additionally, when used in conjunction with sedatives, the drug may reduce the need for high-powered painkillers that could lead to addiction. 

In nonmedical settings, ketamine has been misused. Considered a date-rape drug, ketamine can alter a person's ability to see and hear. Additionally, it can cause hallucinations and make it difficult to move or speak. 

Nevertheless, when used by medical professionals, ketamine can be life-changing, especially for people who suffer from severe depression. Research is being conducted to help determine the best dosages to treat depression.

How Fast Does Ketamine Work?

With traditional antidepressants, patients may not notice the drugs working in the first few weeks of use. The medications must accumulate in the system before a noticeable effect is produced. However, with ketamine, as the drug exits your body, the symptoms of depression decline. Thus, the effects occur rapidly.

How Is Ketamine Administered?

Ketamine is administered through one or more infusions. 

Is Ketamine Only Used to Treat Severe Depression?

In addition to its use as an anesthetic, ketamine is used to treat several psychological disorders. The drug may be helpful in stabilizing the moods of patients with bipolar disorder. It may also help to treat people with personality disorders.

Is Everyone a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?

A person with severe depression may be considered a good candidate if ketamine therapy is not the first treatment that has been tried. Additionally, the initial methods of treatment should be deemed unsuccessful before beginning the ketamine infusion therapy. Also, the contraindications of the drug must be evaluated prior to its use as an antidepressant.

You may not be a good candidate if you are pregnant, are currently chemically dependent, or have a history of psychosis.

To learn more about ketamine therapy, visit a ketamine infusion center in your local area.


13 December 2019

Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands

My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.