As a drug used for years in the medical field to help with pain relief and anesthesia, Ketamine has become an “innovative” treatment in the mental health setting. If you’re like many people left feeling discouraged, hopeless, and stuck with antidepressant medications, the thought of this might still make you feel as nervous as you are intrigued. Ketamine might lack the familiarity and advanced years of traditional treatments, but that’s because Ketamine has been advanced from the start. Whenever you see the words innovative and Ketamine in the same sentence, remember that it’s not just making headlines because it’s “new.” Together, we will break down the benefits and process of IV Ketamine treatment so you can get familiar with Ketamine and see why it isn’t as scary as it sounds.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a drug that has been used for decades in the medical field as an anesthetic for pain relief. In recent years, it has become an innovative treatment option in the mental health setting to help those struggling with depression and PTSD.
How does Ketamine help fight depression and PTSD?
Until recently, treatment options for depression and PTSD were limited and left much to be desired. That is no longer the case, thanks to IV Ketamine therapy. When Ketamine is released into the body, it binds to NMDA receptors found in brain cells that control memory function and increase synaptic plasticity. When bound to a receptor, it inhibits it, blocking it from causing more “background noise” in the brain – noise linked to mood disorders like depression and PTSD. Inhibiting these receptors helps to reverse the damage to synaptic connections. Like a “reset” for the brain, Ketamine improves cognitive function and reduces negative thinking patterns associated with depression and PTSD. This results in an antidepressant effect that is both fast-acting and long-lasting.
How convenient is Ketamine?
Convenience is a multi-part benefit of Ketamine, starting with that it can be administered intravenously (IV), which means it can be given directly into the bloodstream. This makes it a convenient option for those who may not be able to take oral medications or who have difficulty swallowing pills. Ketamine is also a convenient treatment option because it can be given as needed. Unlike other medications that must be taken daily, Ketamine can be administered on an as-needed basis, which means you can have more control over your treatment. The fact that IV Ketamine treatment is highly effective means greater potential for convenience in the future. If you are tired of trying medication after medication, with little to no relief, Ketamine could be the answer you need. Finally, most patients report feeling calm and in control at the end of each IV Ketamine session. With Ketamine’s low chance of side effects, adverse reactions aren’t likely to occur. Once your healthcare provider clears your vitals with 30 minutes of treatment, you are good to go about your day!
What is the process of administering Ketamine Like?
First, a small IV catheter is placed in the patient’s arm. The process of administering IV Ketamine is relaxing and straightforward. Next, the Ketamine is slowly infused into the bloodstream for about 45 minutes. During this time, patients are closely monitored by a clinician who controls the rate at which Ketamine enters your system and ensures you get your complete dosage. For the treatment, patients are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and do what they’d like to relax, such as listening to calming music or meditating. Patients often report feeling relaxed and comfortable during the infusion; many say they notice an improvement in their mood within a few hours.
If you’re ready to learn more about IV Ketamine treatment, we encourage you to watch the video below from our very own Dr. Amato. In the video, she breaks down the Ketamine treatment process, helping us see that there is more to look forward to than to fear. See my TikToc link by clicking here.