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Ketamine for Depression-Why are Ketamine Infusions better than Anti-Depressants

melancholy and sad young woman at the window in the rain

According to doctors worldwide, ketamine is an effective medication to use for depression, but with many other FDA-approved antidepressants available, people ask themselves why should they turn to ketamine. There are numerous reasons, and in this article, we’ll show you why ketamine is an effective treatment for people suffering from debilitating depression.

Ketamine vs. SSRIs

Many believe that depression appears when an individual has a deficit of serotonin. SSRIs help patients with depression by increasing their serotonin levels. However, several new studiesshow that this isn’t entirely correct. Newer studies link depression to the build-up of proteins in the brain and show that ketamine can be the number one treatment for depression.

Although ketamine is not an FDA-approved medication for depression, more than 70% of the antidepressantsprescribed today are ‘off label’ for at least one use. Additionally, a lot of the commonly prescribed antidepressants rarely act fast and oftentimes, take weeks or months before the patient experiences any relief. These medications can also cause some uncomfortable side effects, such as insomnia, drowsiness and/or nausea, and some are even associated with weight gain. None of these side effects are typical when using ketamine.

Ketamine Treatment- What does it Consist of?

Ketamine is usually prescribed when antidepressants don’t work rather than being a first-line treatment. A ketamine treatmentconsists of an IV infusion in the arm and patients generally receive three infusions (once every week) and afterward, if necessary, move to a “maintenance schedule” of one infusion every month.

What about Side Effects?

The side effects of ketamine (if they occur) are generally mild and transient. A temporary elevation of heart rate and blood pressure often occur but these side effects usually don’t affect the treatment negatively. Many patients say they feel a bit drowsy during the infusion but this lasts only between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Moreover, patients report an improved clarity of thinking and an increased functional capacity as quickly as a few hours after the infusion.

How Safe is Ketamine?

As mentioned above, the negative side effects of ketamine are uncommon. Experts do advise caution when the effects of ketamine wear off, thus making ketamine more effective when treatments are administered on a more regular basis, as with any anti-depressant medication.

However, despite this, multiple studies have shown that there’s very little potential for addiction or abuse, at least in the low doses which are administered in a medical setting.

 

To learn more about ketamine treatment, contact us today.

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