Ketamine was once primarily used as a battlefield and operating room anesthetic. Now, this drug is gaining momentum as a potential cure for some instances of major depression, the world’s leading cause of disability. According to new figures, 16 million people in the United States had a major depressive episode in the previous year. Between 1999 and 2016, the number of people who committed suicide increased by more than 30 percent in 25 states. Ketamine may have a role to play in preventing suicide because of its swift action.
Why is ketamine so appealing as a treatment for depression?
If a person reacts to ketamine, it can reduce and minimize suicidality (death-inducing thoughts and actions) and other severe depression symptoms. Ketamine is also helpful in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Other therapies for suicidal thoughts and depression may take weeks or months to work, and some patients will need to try several drugs or interventions before finding relief. This is true of talk therapies, antidepressant medications, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the most effective solution for severe depression that has failed to react to other treatments.
Is Ketamine Available in Various Types?
Ketamine is used to treat major depression that hasn’t reacted to two or more drugs. There are two forms of ketamine treatment in Lakewood Ranch.
- Racemic ketamine, which is usually delivered as a blood infusion. Ketamine is often referred to as IV ketamine. It’s made up of two mirror-image ketamine molecules: “R” and “S” ketamine. While the FDA licensed it as an anesthetic decades ago, it is now used off-label to treat depression.
- Esketamine is a nasal spray that the FDA approved in March. It just makes use of the “S” molecule.The majority of research has so far focused on ketamine infusions.
The two types of ketamine have different effects on brain receptors. The way ketamine is administered and the form have an impact on its efficacy and side effects. We don’t know which kind is more powerful or how different the side effects are. More study is required to compare efficacy and side effects.
How does Ketamine work for Depression?
Ketamine’s mechanism of action isn’t fully understood. Ketamine could help people better handle depression where other therapies have failed because it exerts an antidepressant effect through a novel mechanism.
NMDA receptors in the brain are one of ketamine’s most likely targets. Ketamine tends to increase a neurotransmitter called glutamate in the spaces between neurons by binding to these receptors. Glutamate then stimulates interactions in the AMPA receptor, which is a different type of receptor. The initial blockade of NMDA receptors and activation of AMPA receptors together result in the release of other molecules that assist neurons in interacting with one another along new pathways. This mechanism, known as synaptogenesis, is thought to affect mood, thought patterns, and cognition.
Ketamine can also have other effects on depression. It may, for example, minimize inflammation-related signals, which have been connected to mood disorders or enhance connectivity within specific brain areas. Ketamine most likely acts in several forms simultaneously, all of which are currently being investigated.
What are the potential Ketamine Side Effects?
There are side effects of any prescription. Possible benefits can outweigh potential risks when someone is suicidal or seriously depressed.
Infusions of ketamine can cause:
- blood pressure that is too high
- vomiting and nausea
- perceptual alterations (time appearing to speed up or slow down; colors, textures, and noises that seem incredibly stimulating; blurry vision)
- dissociation (also known as out-of-body experiences); a person can, for example, feel as though they are looking down on their body.
Any changes in perception or dissociation are usually most apparent during the first infusion and disappear rapidly afterward.
The same side effects can occur if you use ketamine nasal spray. The timing and duration of those results, however, vary.
Ketamine use for an extended period or daily can trigger additional side effects. More research is needed in this area.
What else should you be cautious of when it comes to Ketamine?
Compared to the dosage required for anesthesia, a much lower dose of ketamine is provided for depression.
- Ketamine, like morphine, has addictive effects. When weighing costs and benefits, it’s essential to keep this in mind. It’sIt’s particularly important for you and your doctor to determine if ketamine is a good idea for you if you’ve had a history of substance abuse, such as alcohol or drugs.
- In most cases, people respond to IV (racemic) ketamine after one to three infusions. Further infusions are unlikely to help if there is no response at all. Instead, it’s probably better to try some other depression therapies.
People who experience some relief from depression after one or three ketamine treatments in Lakewood Ranch are likely to have these beneficial effects continue longer if the procedure is repeated. Following sessions may help prolong the effects of ketamine rather than providing more drastic symptom relief. There aren’t any set rules for this. Many studies begin with eight treatments (acute phase). Following that, the patient and doctor will determine whether to taper or avoid ketamine treatments or continue them at longer intervals.
Talk to specialists at Synergy Medical for more information.