What is Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine is a medication that originally gained Food and Drug Administration FDA approval as an anesthesia drug during surgical procedures. Currently, doctors and clinicians are using it in small therapeutic doses for the treatment of pain disorders and depression.
Let’s take a closer look at using ketamine treatment to treat mood disorders such as depression and other behavioral health issues and pain syndromes not well managed by other methods. While there are many ways to bring relief to a patient’s symptoms, including prescription antidepressant medications, sometimes the drug stops working after time or they have many unpleasant health effects.
Ketamine is available from healthcare professionals to treat depression and in depression treatment clinic in the form of intravenous (IV) infusions or as a nasal spray. In March of 2019, the FDA approved the use of a nasal spray containing esketamine which is available from healthcare providers and ketamine clinics under the brand names Ketanest or Spravato.
Ketamine for Pain Management
Ketamine treatments are a useful pain management tool to help manage both acute and chronic pain. Also, opioids are often contraindicated in patients with obstructive sleep apnea but ketamine drug infusions are a viable option for these patients.
Ketamine treatments for pain disorders and neurological pain syndrome including the discomfort associated with:
- Spinal cord injury
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Nerve damage
- Migraine headaches
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS
A peer-reviewed paper written by Kelly Jonkman while working at the Department of Anesthesiology, Anesthesia & Pain Research Unit at Leiden University Medical Center states that “Ketamine is a drug that acts at multiple targets; most importantly, it blocks the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). The excitatory glutamatergic NMDAR is ubiquitously distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord and plays an important role in the development and chronification of pain”.
Ketamine for Depression
Up to ten to twenty percent of patients suffering from severe depression actually have treatment-resistant depression with symptoms that don’t improve with traditional antidepressant drugs or therapy. These patients are good candidates for alternative treatment methods such as ketamine infusion therapy.
Dr. Robert C. Meisner, Medical Director of the Ketamine Service in the psychiatric neurotherapeutics program at McLean Hospital says “If a person responds to ketamine, it can rapidly reduce suicidality (life-threatening thoughts and acts) and relieve other serious symptoms of depression. Ketamine also can be effective for treating depression combined with anxiety.”
Different types of behavioral health and severe depression disorders include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Clinical depression
- Atypical depression
- Major depressive disorder
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Psychotic depression
- Postpartum depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
As with any medication, there is always a potential for side effects to develop in some patients. Potential ketamine drug side effects include headache, hypotension, nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances.
Although it is relatively safe when used in small therapeutic amounts, the use of this drug is contraindicated in patients with a history of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or anyone with liver dysfunction (chronic hepatitis or alcohol substance use disorder). Administered in a clinic setting, you will be continually monitored by healthcare professionals for any possible adverse effects during your infusion session.
Take Your First Step Forward
Los Angeles Ketamine Clinics for Depression
Ketamine therapy is typically done as a series of six infusions spread out over a couple of weeks. While you may start to feel better after your first session, it’s recommended that you complete the entire treatment protocol. Infusion maintenance programs are also available, where you return to the clinic every few months, to receive a booster session or two to extend the results. Because every patient is different, these booster sessions may be scheduled every three months, six months, or even annually.
Pacific Ketamine Institute offers two options for ketamine treatment in Los Angeles – intravenous infusions and SPRAVATO™ nasal spray. Call (424) 359-1488 to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your treatment options.
- Robert C. Meisner, MD. Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School. Ketamine for Major Depression: New Tool, New Questions. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ketamine-for-major-depression-new-tool-new-questions-2019052216673
- Kelly Jonkman et al. F1000 Research Review. Ketamine for Pain. Retrieved from: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-1711/v1
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