Ketamine Infusions: What are they?

Ketamine Infusions

If this is your first time hearing about or considering ketamine infusions as a viable treatment for you, then welcome. While you may have heard of ketamine as a tranquilizer or a “club drug,” do not be mistaken. Ketamine has been used clinically since the 1960s as an anesthetic in wars and hospitals alike. Along with these uses, ketamine is making a breakthrough as a treatment for mental health. 

How are Ketamine Infusions Different Than Other Anti-Depressants?

Most people who suffer from depression have been limited to behavioral treatment and a guessing game of SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors). While these drugs combined with talk therapy work for some, others are left bouncing between ineffective medications that can take weeks to see efficacy. 

Rapid Effectiveness of Ketamine

The efficacy timeframe that most patients in ketamine infusion treatment find is remarkable. Often patients will find relief within hours or days compared to the multiple weeks that SSRIs take to show results. Because of this, high-risk patients and those with suicidal ideation had little chance of success with traditional SSRIs. Not anymore, ketamine’s ability to provide much more rapid relief is giving hope to those who are on their last leg.

Duration Between Treatments is Less Frequent

Not only can ketamine infusions work quickly but they need to be administered much less often than SSRIs. This is paramount in depressed patients who find it difficult to take daily or twice daily medications. For these people, being able to have one ketamine infusion every few weeks or even months makes managing their conditions less stressful and more successful. 

How Do Ketamine Infusions Work?

In practice, the procedure is a simple IV inserted into an arm. The ketamine dosage your doctor prescribes will slowly be infused into the bloodstream. Over the course of about 45 minutes, the patients will begin to notice effects that some patients describe as “a weight being lifted off their shoulders.” This session can be accompanied by a psychotherapist to walk you through cognitive behavioral therapy to maximize the benefits of the infusion. 

How Does Ketamine Work in the Brain?

This is a complicated matter and one that researchers are continuing to learn. While its exact modality is yet to be set in stone there are some great hypotheses backed by top researchers. One of the ways that ketamine seems to act is by increasing levels of glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that allows neurological connections to transfer information between the neurons. In short, ketamine appears to facilitate this increase in areas of the mind linked to mood regulation.

Can Reduce Inflammation

Researchers are also noticing that ketamine may have the ability to reduce inflammation. Inflammation has long been linked to mood disorders and the positive effects ketamine infusions shows are promising. All of these modalities have the mental health community excited about continuing research with the remarkable results they have seen so far. 

Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Me?

If you have tried many different treatments with little or no success, or have been diagnosed with Treatment-Resistant Depression give us a call at 847-236-9310. Our talented staff will seek out the best treatment options for you and guide you along a journey to a more fulfilled life. There’s no better time than today to take control of your mental health. 

Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant

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