Intravenous Ketamine Therapy for Depression
Depression affects approximately 17% of the population at some point in life. First line treatment options normally consist of a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). While SSRIs are highly effective at resolving depression in some patients, they come with significant limitations. These limitations include low response rates, treatment resistance, high incidence of relapse, and a delay in efficacy that requires patients to take one of many SSRIs for weeks to months before seeing any benefit. This lag-time in efficacy can be fatal in cases where suicidal ideations also occur, which is very common in depressed patients.
Interestingly, ketamine has been identified as a fast acting antidepressant. Ketamine has been shown in numerous clinical studies to rapidly reduce depression and suicidality. Therefore, it is currently being evaluated by pharmaceutical companies who seek to get a labelled indication on a ketamine drug product for the treatment of depression. Fortunately, ketamine is already an FDA-approved drug and is available for off label use as a physician sees fit. Numerous case studies and even double-blind placebo controlled clinical trials have shown that intravenous (IV) ketamine can be employed to treat depression that is resistant to first line therapies such as SSRIs.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Depression has long been thought to be due to a neurochemical imbalance, which is why SSRIs are thought to help. The truth is that all mood disorders, including depression, are very complex and vary widely from case to case. This is evidenced by the low response rate for various SSRIs in depression. Scientists have identified many other changes that are thought to contribute to or cause depression. A key change is neuronal atrophy, characterized by the loss of synaptic connections in key cortical and limbic brain regions—which are important for mood. This neuronal atrophy is thought to occur due to decreased expression of growth factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Recent studies have demonstrated that ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, increases spine synapses in the prefrontal cortex and can also reverse the deficits cause by chronic stress. Many have hypothesized and basic research has shown that this occurs by transient disinhibition of glutamate transmission, followed by compensatory glutamate bursts at the neuronal synapse. This leads to a concomitant increase in BDNF, initiating a cascading signal pathway that ultimately increases neuronal spine formation.
Thus, ketamine may be effective at treating depressed patients that do not respond to first line therapies. In addition, the onset of therapeutic action for ketamine occurs much more rapidly than with SSRIs. Many patients begin to feel better after a single IV infusion session, however, others do require prolonged infusion sessions. Moreover, as with SSRIs, ketamine is not always effective at resolving depression in every patient.
About Ketamine Therapy
Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusion therapy has emerged as a treatment option for a variety of chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia, small fiber neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) and psychiatric conditions including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideation,
and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Hanna is America’s top doctor offering IV Ketamine Infusion treatment, with over 1,000 treatments performed. Patients are reporting amazing, miraculous results with only a few treatments.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ketamine Safe?
Ketamine has a very safe track record and has been in use since the 1970s. Ketamine causes very little depression of a patient’s respiratory drive, which is why is has been attractive as an anesthetic agent in the military and in developing countries.
Who will oversee my infusions?
Our highly trained nurse practitioners or physician assistants will oversee your infusions and will monitor your vital signs through the process.
What safe practices are in place at IVKetamine.com?
Even though Ketamine has a very high safety profile, all patients are placed on cardiac monitoring and pulse oxygenation monitoring. IVKetamine.com sets the standard for patient safety
Will my infusions take place in a private setting?
At IVKetamine.com, each patient receives an infusion in a private room with observation by trained staff.