If you suffer from depression, you’re not alone. Around 3.8% of the world’s population is affected. It’s one of the most common causes of disability worldwide.
There are many things you can try to ease the symptoms caused by depression, such as talk therapy and medication. A new, innovative treatment method medical professionals use for depression is ketamine infusion therapy. It’s used to treat depression and several other mental health conditions.
This guide will discuss what you need to know about ketamine therapy. Learn if it’s the right option for you so you can discuss it with your healthcare provider.
What Is Ketamine Therapy?
Physicians used ketamine as an anesthetic in the 1960s. They noticed that ketamine didn’t just put their patients to sleep. Some patients reported that they experienced improvements in their mood after receiving it.
Medical researchers began looking into ketamine therapy in the 1990s. Esketamine, a form of ketamine, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 for depression that’s resistant to treatment. Treatment-resistant depression means that it hasn’t responded to two medications.
How Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Work?
The human body can absorb ketamine easier than with other methods. It’s designed to help with various psychiatric conditions, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
Researchers believe that ketamine induces the production of glutamate, which is a brain neurotransmitter. Abnormally high levels of glutamate have been linked to treatment-resistant depression. The glutamate causes your brain to create new connections while repairing the damaged ones.
The new brain connections help patients have more positive thoughts and behaviors. It’s different than a traditional antidepressant. Antidepressants only work when they’re in your system.
What’s a Ketamine Infusion Appointment Like?
Your first meeting with your healthcare provider will be an initial consultation. Your doctor will ask you about:
- Your depression
- What treatments you’ve already tried
- What medications you’re on
A standard protocol for ketamine therapy includes six infusions. These infusions will get scheduled over two to three weeks. You’ll check in with your doctor after that.
Some patients might go back each month for a “booster” appointment. Other patients could be in “remission” after their initial series of infusions.
You can expect your first infusion appointment to last 40 minutes. They’ll monitor you for about 20-30 minutes before letting you go home. We recommend having someone available to drive you home.
What Are the Side Effects of Ketamine Therapy?
Most side effects of a ketamine treatment are mild. The most common side effects are:
Ketamine can increase your blood pressure, so it’s not an ideal choice for those who have hypertension. Your healthcare provider will let you know if they believe you can benefit from ketamine infusions.
Schedule a Consultation for Ketamine Therapy in Austin, TX
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried multiple treatment options for your depression. You might benefit from ketamine infusion therapy. Speak with an experienced mental healthcare provider to find out if this therapy option is right for you.
Victory Medical is here to guide you through the ketamine therapy process. We have facilities located throughout the Austin area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.