What Are The Drawbacks Of Using Ketamine To Treat Mental Health Issues
One of the major drawbacks to the use of ketamine in mental health is the lack of understanding of ketamines long-term effects. Ketamine is known as a particularly safe anesthetic drug. But people who use it as an anesthetic only take the drug during a medical procedure, not regularly over a long period of time. Treatment for anxiety and depression may require many doses over a longer period of time.
Ketamines effects are also difficult to study. Since it acts on so many receptors in the brain, its much more complicated than drugs that are older and more thoroughly studied. If you take ketamine in frequent therapeutic doses for a few weeks, the effects may be hard to predict. Its important to communicate with your doctor and talk about any new, worsening, or persistent side effects.
Can Ketamine Be Used To Treat Anxiety
While depression and anxiety seem like opposites, theyre often interconnected. Some people who experience severe anxiety struggle with depression and vice versa. Many of the same treatments for depression are also used to treat anxiety.
Proponents of ketamine treatment for anxiety disorders like PTSD point to the drugs dissociative effects as a positive. While dissociation is often a side effect for people taking the drug as an anesthetic or even for recreation, it may help people with anxiety disorders gain a distanced perspective on their problems. In fact, brief dissociative episodes are thought to be a function of the brains ability to cope with trauma. Ketamine may be used to treat anxiety thats resistant to other forms of treatment, as it is used for depression.
A 2018 study compared the use of ketamine to a placebo in a double-blind trial with 18 participants with social anxiety disorder. They found that ketamine significantly improved anxiety symptoms more than the placebo.
Might There Be Methods Of Enhancing Ketamine’s Antidepressant Effects
To end on an optimistic note, there is evidence emerging that there may be ways to sustain and enhance the antidepressant effects of ketamine by combining ketamine treatments with various forms of new learning.
An article recently posted online in the respected American Journal of Psychiatry describes an elegant study combining ketamine with computer program learning. The results demonstrated that “after priming the brain with ketamine, training positive self-association” was able to enhance and sustain ketamine’s antidepressant effects. Stay tuned for my next blog post on different approaches to ketamine, focusing on the potential for enhancing ketamine’s antidepressant effect through psychotherapy and other forms of new learning.
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The Ketamine Crusaders And Lamar Odoms Ketamine Story
Along with my friend Zappy, Warren has now dedicated his life to helping others get relief.When Ive been in that place that I was in and I know that theres a solution, what else would I do but spread the word about this? Warren explained.
The goal of The Ketamine Fund is to make ketamine available and affordable for everyone who could benefit from it, starting with veterans. Veterans are amazing people they care about others and have a sense of responsibility to protect and serve for the greater good. These are not people we want to take out of society through PTSD, depression, and suicide, said Warren.
Zappy and Warrens upcoming documentary about Lamar Odom, Lamar Odom/Reborn, will open peoples eyes to the power of this medicine. I had an opportunity to see a pre-screening of the film while I was visiting Miami for ketamine treatment. Watching the basketball superstar transform his life from the heavy addiction and depression which almost killed him to being happy, healthy, and thriving is inspiring.
The Correlation Between Dosage And Its Anti
At what dose do patients with an anxiety disorder respond to ketamine?
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology looked at the dose-related effects of this drug on anxiety symptoms in patients with treatment-refractory anxiety disorders. Researchers noted a dose-response profile of the drug on:
- Anxiolytic effects
- Dissociative side effects
- Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
They noticed minor changes at 0.25 mg/kg, and progressively greater and more durable changes at the higher doses. Ten out of 12 patients responded to ketamine dose of 0.5 1mg/kg .
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How To Get Help
In the US: Globally:
The researchers also note that they didnt systematically assess side effects or adverse events of the treatment, but previous studies have not found long-term or permanent side effects on memory or cognitive decline.
The lack of information about adverse effects is disappointing, Sanacora said. Ketamine comes with a unique set of risks, both to the individual but also to society including the potential for drug abuse and unknown effects of frequent use, especially at higher levels.
But without the adverse effects data and without comparing outcomes to a control group or otherwise, its hard to know how to weigh the benefits against the risks.
My point is, I think this is an incredibly important treatment to add to our armamentarium to fight severe mood disorders and psychiatric illnesses, but we have to use it responsibly and carefully, he said.
Achieve Symptom Relief In Hours Not Weeks
Research shows that a single therapeutic dose of IV ketamine produced an antidepressant and anti-suicidal effect in 4.5 hours for people that had not found success with traditional medications. These effects were still present 24 hours later, with 40% of participants reporting continued benefits seven days post-infusiona huge improvement over SSRIs, which take weeks to produce a therapeutic effect.
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What Makes Mindbloom Unique
Ketamine treatments are shown to be more effective when combined with intention setting and integration exercises. Mindbloom is a leading provider pairing ketamine with an immersive in-app experience and clinician support, all in the comfort of your own home.
In addition to having licensed clinicians participate in your care, Mindbloom goes a step further by incorporating guides that give you one-on-one support when its most critical. Your guide is available to text or message any time you need. So, youre never facing mental health challenges alone.
Additionally, your guide will have exclusive virtual meetings immediately before and after your first session to help you prepare and process your initial journey. After your second and sixth treatments, youll meet one-on-one with your guide again to check your progress.
Throughout your journey, you will keep a journal to help you process your experiences and emotions. Your guide will work with you to discover the keys to integrating your newfound insights into meaningful actions to change your daily life.
Industry experts also lead the medical oversight for Mindbloom. The Mindbloom board of medical advisors and partner clinicians work collectively to ensure all care focuses on doing what is best for the patients. So, you know you are always getting the most up-to-date, science-backed, patient-centered care.
Little To No Down Time Or Side Effects
While in session, a medical professional monitors the patient. This is because ketamine is a known dissociative anesthesia, giving it psychedelic characteristics. A person can develop some auditory and sensory distortions. They may also hallucinate or feel drowsy. This is why, if youre taking a ketamine infusion via IV, someone must be present to drive you home.
Still, those are, most likely, the only side effects a person is going to experience. Once they go away, youre back to your normal self, able to do your daily functions. When on antidepressants, in many cases, they drag on side effects. These may persist throughout the day, and, sometimes, even impair daily life.
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Who Is Eligible For Mindblooms Ketamine Therapy
Patients approved for ketamine therapy benefit from fewer adverse effects than conventional antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , which may become intolerable over time.
If you are wondering if you are a candidate for ketamine therapy from Mindbloom, take their brief assessment.
How Ketamine Can Help
Traditionally used as an anesthetic, ketamine infusions are now widely used to treat depression that doesnt respond well to other treatments, such as antidepressant medications. In recent years, researchers have discovered that ketamine is also very effective in helping patients with many types of anxiety disorders.
Ketamine works by altering the way your brain uses glutamate, a powerful neurotransmitter chemical that plays a major role in mood. Researchers arent sure exactly how ketamine reduces anxiety symptoms, but they do know that glutamate helps nerves communicate better, which may help short circuit the abnormal signaling associated with anxiety.
Ketamine infusions are delivered in our office via an IV, with sessions lasting an hour or less. Another bonus: Unlike anxiety medications that may need weeks to take effect, ketamine infusions provide a nearly immediate effect, reducing feelings of anxiety after just one dose in many cases.
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Is Ketamine Treatment Right For Me
As a dissociative medication with a lightning speed onset of action, ketamine infusion therapy makes anxiety treatment one less thing to worry about. If youre suffering from an anxiety disorder, like generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder, and arent experiencing reduced anxietysymptoms through traditional medications, it may be time to talk to a doctor about ketamine infusions for anxiety.
What Are The Acute Side Effects Of Ketamine
The side effects you might experience after taking ketamine will depend on the dose you take and the purpose for which you are taking the drug. If youre taking ketamine as a recreational drug, you will likely take a smaller dose than someone thats receiving an anesthetic. One of the main reasons recreational users take ketamine in smaller doses is that it fails as a recreational drug if you pass out and sleep through it. Plus, smaller doses may produce physical and psychological euphoria. However, recreational doses can produce some unpleasant side effects, including:
- Impaired cognitive function
- Sleep disturbances
Symptoms of dissociation are associated with higher recreational doses, but they can be disturbing. Depersonalization is the loss of your sense of self. You may feel separated from your body or that you have no individual identity at all.
Depersonalization may make you feel like youre a disembodied observer, and its often frightening. Derealization is a similar but separate symptom thats characterized by a feeling that the world around you is distant, distorted, or unreal. Some people who experience this feel like they are looking at the world through a filter or through a pane of glass. Others feel like the world around them is fake or a fabrication.
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What Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine infusion therapy is an off-label use of the drug ketamine to treat mental health conditions such as depression.
The term infusion is used as ketamine is administered in a solution as opposed to a pill.
Despite the fact that ketamine infusion therapy offers longer-lasting effects than a traditional antidepressant , ketamine infusion therapy requires outpatient visits to a clinic for every dose.
Bearing this in mind, ketamine infusion therapy is considered similar to maintenance programs.
Ketamine infusion therapy is also used to treat chronic pain symptoms.
Ketamine’s Antidepressant Effects Fade
Ketamine can rapidly improve depression in about 70% of patients who havent responded to other antidepressants. Although this is a stunning statistic, its important for patients to understand that the antidepressant effects of ketamine usually wear off, and rather quickly.
If a patient receives one ketamine infusion, the antidepressant effect typically lasts about a week, and sometimes only a few days. If a patient receives an initial group of six ketamine treatments, the antidepressant effect lasts longer, but only about a month. Therefore, as someone is preparing to undergo ketamine treatment, it is important to keep in mind that even if ketamine works, it will likely wear off after a month, and one may need monthly ketamine treatments to sustain the antidepressant effects.
This happens in the majority of patients who respond to ketamine. I believe it is unethical for providers not to communicate this clearly to patients. Ive come across patients who think they have failed ketamine treatment because the effects wore off a month later. Actually, it is just the opposite, as these patients would be considered ketamine responders who now need monthly boosters.
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Your Doctor Can Help You Decide
While the use of ketamine for anxiety is quickly becoming a popular alternative, it is still quite new, and therefore is not administered by all doctors. At TMS & Brain Health, we partner with physicians to provide ketamine infusion therapy treatment as part of your overall wellness treatment. Contact us today to learn more.
If you are suffering from anxiety, work closely with your doctor on a treatment plan, and let them know of any existing conditions or medications you might be taking. Your doctor can evaluate your specific case and help you decide whether ketamine therapy is the best alternative for controlling your anxiety symptoms.
You also should not start or stop any form of drug therapy for anxiety without your doctors supervision many anti-anxiety drugs should not be stopped abruptly and may not be suitable for patients with certain conditions. For instance, a beta blocker may be dangerous for patients with heart or lung diseases.
If you and your doctor decide that ketamine is the right next step for you, your doctor can help you find a qualified medical center that administers ketamine infusions. Your doctor will also likely prescribe a schedule for the ketamine therapy, along with other treatments. Remember, it is important to adhere to the treatment schedule prescribed by your doctor, even if you stop experiencing anxiety symptoms.
Ask about ketamine infusion therapy today.
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Should You Use Ketamine To Treat Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health problems in the United States. Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million people in the U.S. every year. Major depressive disorder affects more than 16 million Americans each year.
While there are several treatment options for both of these disorders, some people are resistant to typical treatment paths. Ketamine may be an option for people who have tried other approaches with limited results. Learn more about ketamine treatment and its use in treating anxiety and depression.
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What Is Considered An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a normal human experience it can be brought on by stressful or mundane situations. Typically, this kind of anxiety tends to go away and does not persist. In anxiety disorders, the triggering events can produce intense fear, hypersensitivity, nervousness, and panic attacks sometimes on a daily basis. An estimated 19.1% of Americans have had an anxiety disorder in the past year.
Is Ketamine Right For Me
Most ketamine research has been conducted on people who have unipolar major depressive disorder, which “has proven difficult to treat with more standard treatment approaches,” Dr. Sanacora said.
“Our best evidence is for patients with unipolar major depressive disorder who have not responded to adequate doses and courses of standard antidepressant treatments in the past,” he explained. “Although there is some promising data suggesting efficacy in PTSD, bipolar depression and possibly OCD and even the mood aspects of Parkinson’s disease, the further you get away from the diagnosis of major depressive disorder with the characteristics noted above, the weaker the evidence becomes.”
When asked who might not be appropriate for ketamine infusions, Dr. Sanacora pointed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on its 2019 approval for Spravatoâa nasal spray that contains esketamineâderived from ketamineâto treat depression. The usage warnings for Spravato may serve as something of a guidepost moving forward with ketamine, said Dr. Sanacora.
That spray includes a warning for people with “aneurysmal vascular disease, including thoracic and abdominal aorta, intracranial and peripheral arterial vessels, or arteriovenous malformation.” Additionally, “people with a history of intracerebral hemorrhage as well as hypersensitivity to esketamine or ketamine, or any of the excipients,” Dr. Sanacora added.
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Does Ketamine Cure Depression
- Ketamine’s antidepressant effects fade rather quickly necessitating ongoing treatment.
- Thirty percent of patients do not respond to ketamine.
- A new study suggests there may be ways of sustaining ketamine’s antidepressant effects through psychological tools.
Ketamine is an amazing medicine being used off label for treatment resistant depression. For many patients with resistant depression, bipolar depression, and suicidal ideation, ketamine can be a miracle. Ketamine works much faster than regular antidepressants, and the results can often be dramatic. However, ketamine does not work for everyone, and it is not without its drawbacks. In the discussion that follows, I will focus on some of the limitations of ketamine.
Thirty Percent Of Patients Do Not Respond To Ketamine
Another important caveat which every practitioner should review with their patients is that 30% of people do not respond to ketamine. Ketamine does not work for everyone. Therefore, it is important for practitioners to discuss with their patients what the next steps in treatment will be if ketamine does not lift depression. Patients are often thinking of ketamine as a last resort, and we need to educate patients that there are other options for treating resistant depression.
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