Ketamine’s potential as an antidepressant was recognized more than a decade ago. Ketamine Infusion Therapy works differently than commonly used antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Effexor, which may explain why people who aren’t helped by standard treatments respond to ketamine when other medications don’t help.
Ketamine for depression is an outpatient procedures requiring no hospital admission. Ketamine is also being used to treat neuropathic pain and the symptoms of PTSD.
Ketamine has been used in hospitals for the past five decades and has a proven record of safety. The small doses and methods of administration used to treat psychiatric patients differ greatly from those used in hospitals.
Ketamine is a schedule 3 dissociative anesthetic, which has shown promising antidepressant effects that are both rapid and robust. It has been safely used for years as the ideal anesthetic in hospital and medical settings, as it works without suppressing the respiratory function. At lower doses it can cause altered perception of sight and sound, pain relief, and dissociative states, similar to an out of body experience. When used under medical supervision, studies have shown ketamine infusions to have significant effects in healing treatment-resistant depression.
Ketamine has the ability to go to work right away, unlike most antidepressants, which take weeks, sometimes months, to provide relief.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy is an IV procedure performed in office by Dr. Ditzell. Unlike an injection such as a flu shot, the stick of the IV needle can barely be felt because it will not hit muscle, so there is virtually zero pain involved even for people who are sensitive to needles. Dr. Ditzell will monitor your response during the infusion and you won’t lose consciousness or awareness of your surroundings, as the ketamine dose and rate used for infusions is only a small fraction of what is used in surgery.
Please contact our office to discuss Ketamine Infusion Therapy, and to see if it is right for you.
Standard antidepressant medications (SSRIs and SNRIs) focus on modulating the effects of serotonin and norepinephrine. These medications have shown benefits for some people struggling with depression, unfortunately many individuals do not experience enough relief with this mode of treatment.
Research suggests that depression can be attributed to losing certain neurons due to prolonged exposure to stress. Ketamine for depression focuses on activating certain neurotransmitter receptors and pathways which causes these neurons to re-grow.
Ketamine has a much more rapid effect (within hours) than typical antidepressant medications, which can take weeks or longer to see any effects. Side effects of Ketamine infusion therapy are far fewer and less severe than those typically experienced with antidepressant medications.
The ketamine infusion takes place over 40 minutes. You will be seated comfortably in a recliner, in a dimly lit room, with some light music to ensure you are able to relax. You will be in a private room with both a nurse and a doctor for the duration of the infusion. We will monitor your blood pressure and vitals, and address any concerns that may arise throughout the infusion. The infusion consists of a small dose of ketamine mixed with saline solution that will be infused through a syringe and needle. We have a highly skilled nurse, experienced in meditative practices that we have found helpful in minimizing any discomfort or uneasiness you may have around needles. We make the experience as relaxing and enjoyable as possible, with our clients leaving with a happier, more relaxed affect.
Most patients find the infusion experience to be quite relaxing and pleasant. You won’t lose consciousness or awareness of your surroundings. Within 15 minutes of ending the infusion your thinking will be clear.
A patient may find that that they are able to reflect on past traumas or current anxieties in a very calm, rational way with little to no emotional pain.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy often relieves suicidal depression in a matter of hours in patients who have not responded to other treatments. The drug’s rapid response could be life-saving as recent studies have shown that a single dose of ketamine dramatically reduces suicidal thoughts.
Because Ketamine Infusion Therapy is a relatively new modality in the treatment of depression, there are no standard protocols sanctioned by the Department of Health. At Dr. Ditzell Psychiatry we want to offer this cutting edge treatment to our patients, however we want to make sure we know what we are doing and are highly skilled in the practice. That being said, Dr. Ditzell went to an intensive training with one of the top Anesthesiologists at the Ketamine Institute. He was trained in using ketamine to treat our patients with the proper dosing and scheduling, and to feel comfortable and competent in using this treatment modality. At Dr. Ditzell Psychiatry our patients have and always will be our number one priority; we take their health and well being very seriously and are pleased to be able to offer Ketamine Infusion Therapy in a manner like no other practice we’ve come across.