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Ketamine Therapy: Passing fad or life saving treatment?

What is Ketamine


You’ve probably heard on the news or read on social media about Ketamine as a new mental health treatment for depression. Ketamine was created in 1962 from PCP in the hopes of it being a safer anesthesia than what was available at the time.


If I’m depressed, should I run to a Ketamine Clinic?


While there are promising studies on the positive effects of Ketamine for depression, it is a newer treatment, so additional studies are needed. In fact most insurance companies will only reimburse for ketamine when other medications or therapist are tried initially to treat depression. For this reason, Ketamine has been referred to as a treatment for “treatment resistant depression” and is not currently a typical first intervention utilized.


Does it work?


Recent studies show that Ketamine does reduce depressive symptoms for approximately a week and after that week, another ketamine treatment is required to continue reducing depressive symptoms. Critics of Ketamine treatment argue that it’s short term effect make it no different than a typical recreational drug, which can also help reduce side effects, but has long term side effects and is short term.


How is Ketamine treatment applied?


There are two main avenues that Ketamine treatments are applied, which are a nasal spray and through an IV.


The first more traditional application is an injection. A patient would go to a clinic with a medical team and receive the medication via IV for a predetermined period of time at a specific dosage.


The second newer application is called esketamine, also knows as Spravato. Spravato is a nasal spray that is less medically intensive as an IV and can produce similar results to an injection.


If you think Ketamine may be of use in treating your depression or other mental health symptoms, we recommend reaching out to your primary care provider or psychiatrist to see if Ketamine treatment is the right fit for you.



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