Depression is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world, yet there is still no definitive treatment for it. Fortunately, new research is shedding light on potential treatments that can help individuals with depression. One such possibility is ketamine infusion therapy, which is an effective treatment for depression. Regular ketamine usage comes with its own risks. However, ketamine infusion therapy can provide a more controlled dosage that offers more mental health benefits without the potential downsides. Read on to learn more about why ketamine infusion therapy works better for depression than taking ketamine independently.
What is ketamine?
To understand why ketamine infusion therapy (IV ketamine) is more effective in treating depression than regular ketamine use, we must first define what ketamine is. Ketamine is a medication developed in the 1960s as an anesthetic but is now used primarily as an antidepressant. Researchers are beginning to discover the potential benefits of ketamine in helping to relieve symptoms of depression, among other mental health issues.
Ketamine acts differently than commonly used antidepressants like Prozac and Lexapro (known as “SSRIs”). Unlike these medications that act on serotonin, ketamine is thought to act on NMDA receptors and stimulate glutamate activity. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that is critical in helping the brain change by making new neural connections.
While regular ketamine usage includes users taking the drug in an uncontrolled and unsupervised manner, ketamine infusion therapy allows for more controlled usage of the drug and addresses more of the root cause of certain kinds of depression.
What is ketamine infusion therapy?
Ketamine infusion therapy involves treating a patient with ketamine through an IV. Because of the way it is administered and is considered a controlled substance, the treatment must be provided by specially trained medical personnel in a certified clinical setting.
During ketamine infusion therapy, a doctor will administer the drug slowly and directly into the patient’s vein. This allows for a more targeted dosage and for the user to enjoy its full benefits without the risk of taking too much. The slow and steady introduction of ketamine during this therapy helps to minimize the potential for misuse or abuse, which can lead to long-term damage to the brain and mental health.
What are the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy?
The primary benefit of ketamine infusion therapy for depression is the fact that it positively affects the patient’s brain chemistry. In research studies conducted on the effects of ketamine, the drug has been found to increase levels of glutamate and other neurotransmitters, which are thought to be responsible for the related mood enhancement. With the right dosage, users can enjoy a more immediate, positive effect on their depression that may last longer than other antidepressant medications.
Studies have shown that ketamine infusion therapy can improve symptoms of depression in around 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression. It can also make all depression symptoms in about 30-40% of patients completely go away. Similar results have also been shown in patients with PTSD. In a recent study, 63% of patients with suicidal thoughts experienced complete resolution of suicidality within 3 days of ketamine treatment.
In addition to providing a positive effect on brain chemistry, IV ketamine treatment also allows for a more controlled dosage. During treatment, doctors can monitor the patient’s progress and adjust the dosage of the drug as necessary. This helps to reduce the risk of overuse and works to ensure that the user receives the full benefits of the drug without any potential for long-term damage. By receiving the correct dosage, users can obtain the full effects of the medication without worrying about potential side effects.
The downside of using regular ketamine for depression
Perhaps the most obvious downside to using regular ketamine for depression is an increase in the potential for abuse or misuse. Without proper medical guidance and a physician to monitor its use, it is difficult for users to determine the correct dosage for their needs. Using too much of the drug to speed up the healing process can lead to numerous mental health issues, from severe depression to anxiety and panic attacks.
In addition, there is a greater risk of the drug having an adverse reaction when it is not administered properly. Without the necessary safeguards, users can be at risk of not only taking too much but also taking too little. This could leave the user at a higher risk of developing further depression, as the therapeutic effects may not be enough to have a lasting positive effect.
Furthermore, it is important to consider the fact that individuals may experience different effects of ketamine usage. While studies suggest a majority of people experience relief from symptoms of depression, others can experience a range of negative side effects. These can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and even hallucinations. Without proper guidance from a doctor, the impact of these side effects can be amplified, putting the user at risk for further mental health issues.
Overall, regular ketamine usage carries a greater number of risks, and it is recommended that individuals seek a more regulated and controlled experience, such as ketamine infusion therapy. By doing so, users can enjoy the full benefits of the drug while reducing the potential for any negative side effects.
When it comes to treating depression with ketamine, it is clear that ketamine infusion therapy is the preferred option for many. With proper medical guidance and a tailored dosage, ketamine infusion therapy offers users the ability to benefit from the drug without the risk of misuse or abuse. By using a controlled and monitored approach, individuals can reduce the risk of any lasting mental health issues and enjoy the immediate relief that it offers.
If you’re interested in learning more about ketamine infusion therapy and if it could be a treatment option for you, reach out to us today! Call us at 844-867-8444 to schedule a free mental health consultation.