A depressive disorder is affecting a significant portion of adults in the United States. Depression comes with sleep disorders, feeling of sadness, anxiety, lack of interest, energy loss, guilt feeling, changes in appetite, psychomotor agitation and also feeling of suicides. Ketamine once used widely as an anesthetic has been recently used to treat treatment-resistant depression and shown useful results.
Ketamine was used at lower doses to ease pain along with sedatives and is useful in lowering the dosage of addictive painkillers. Ketamine does not aim similar brain activities as antidepressants such as venlafaxine (Effexor), fluoxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft). Instead, it blocks a receptor named N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). Started as an off-label use Ketamine has shown a positive response in many individuals suffering from depression related issues especially treatment-resistant depression and pain management. Studies have shown that when low-dose Ketamine is given intravenously to individuals with issues of depression, they showed high improvement within 2 hours.
- Ketamine changes various neuromodulators in the brain creating antidepressant, hypnotic, and analgesic advantages. A crucial neurotransmitter impacted is glutamate that plays a huge role in improving memory and learning. By modifying glutamate, ketamine can restrict learned thought patterns along with the development of new pathways. It lets the mind overcome triggers that push it into a loopy thought process. Ketamine also impacts depression in other ways. For instance, it decreases the signals that create inflammation and has been associated with mood variations or begins communications within specific areas of the brain.
- Some people are addicted to antidepressants when they begin their routine life which requires to be taken for some days to affect the body. But Ketamine is unique as it begins the effect on depression as it leaves the body. Studies made to believe that it stimulates to regrow certain networks between the brain cells that influence the mood. This effect is said to be more impactful than all the regular antidepressant pills.
Why is Ketamine Effective for Treating Depression?
If a person responds to Ketamine, it will significantly help in decreasing the occurrence of life-ending thoughts and acts along with reducing other effects of depression. Some other depression, anxiety, and suicidal thought treatments usually take many weeks and months to show effect. This is also the same for antidepressant medicines, talk treatments, electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etc that are considered as the most effective treatment. Hence Ketamine shows success for people with depression and fails to respond to other treatments. Treatment-resistant depression can be termed as an absence of substantial improvement after two successive trials of two diverse antidepressants belonging to two diverse pharmacologic classes.
Different Types of Ketamine:
Two types of Ketamine are employed in treating depression issues for people who are not responding to other medicines.
- Racemic ketamine, which is usually used in IV ketamine therapy as an infusion into the blood. It is a blend of two mirror-image molecules: “R” and “S” ketamine. Even though it had been approved many years ago as an anesthetic by the FDA, it is employed off-label to treat depression.
- Esketamine that only uses S molecule and is approved by the FDA recently, is provided as a nasal spray.
The two types of ketamine relate differently to brain receptors. The type of administration and dosages have an impact on its effect and side effects which is why it is advised by expert doctors.
Why it Has to be Carried by Experts?
- A less dosage of Ketamine is given for treating depression when compared to the dose required for anesthesia.
- Ketamine also has some addictive properties which is the reason to emphasize its risks and benefits. If a person was formerly addicted to drugs or alcohol, then it is essential to discuss thoroughly with the doctor on its usage.
- IV Ketamine generally shows the response in people within three infusions. If an individual is showing no effects within that time, then more infusions are unlikely to show no effects. Usually, doctors suggest them to try other treatments.
- Individuals who show signs of relief from depression within one to three ketamine therapies have large possibilities to enhance these positive effects if the treatment is given some more time. The succeeding treatments will only help in extending the effects of ketamine, instead of showing any substantial changes.
Possible Side Effects of Ketamine:
All drugs have some amount of side effects. But, if a person is brutally depressed, probable benefits may overshadow them.
Ketamine given by infusion may lead to some side effects like:
- Increase in blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- perceptual disturbances
The issue of perception and dissociation is seen during the first IV therapy session and ends very soon once the person responds to the treatment.
The Response of Patients:
As mentioned above, the positive response of patients is generally seen within three infusions. If they are not at all responding to the treatments, then it is unlikely that they will show any further effects. This is the point where doctors will suggest other types of treatments for depression. For persons who are responding well to the treatment, it is extended for extended periods as suggested by the specialist. But the treatments have to administer closely by the experts and self-medication is not suggested. As the continued sessions will only extend the effect of initial ketamine treatment instead of receiving any extra benefits.
Ketamine was earlier used mostly as an anesthetic on war fields and in operation theatres. Currently, this medication is giving positive results and is widely used as a promising treatment for some significant cases of major depression, which is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The intention of IV Ketamine therapy and AccuTite treatment at Utah Stem Cells is to help you find both relief and a renewed lease on life with the support of Ketamine therapy. We trust that you will find our staff supportive, the environment not only friendly but safe, and the experience healing.