If you suffer from depression, you may be frustrated because the usual treatments don't seem to help. Depression medications can take a long time to have an effect, and sometimes they don't work well at all. Therapy might help too, although the results may be slow in coming. If you've not had good results with those treatments, your doctor might suggest other options such as ketamine therapy. Here's a look at how ketamine treatments work.
You'll Need to Qualify for Treatments
Although ketamine is a safe drug that has been used for many years as an anesthetic, it isn't routinely the first choice in treatment for depression at this time. You may need to find a clinic or doctor who provides the treatments, such as Newport Pain Management, then you will need to have an evaluation to see if you're a suitable candidate. It may be necessary to rule out medical problems as a cause of your depression and to determine that you've tried other depression medications and had poor results with them.
The Treatments Are Given by IV
Ketamine is usually delivered by IV. You'll probably be in a relaxing setting during the treatment and have a nurse close by to adjust your dose if necessary. The drug can cause you to hallucinate or have feelings that you might enjoy or find uncomfortable, especially during your first treatment when you don't know what to expect. If you experience stress or anxiety, the dose can be dialed down or another drug can be administered that reduces the effect of ketamine. You may experience euphoria during the treatment, but once the treatment is over, you may feel tired and need to sleep.
You Might Need Multiple Treatments
One advantage of taking this kind of treatment for depression is that you might have noticeable results after just one IV treatment. These fast results aren't possible with other depression medications because they act in different ways on your neurotransmitters. Still, your doctor may want you to have a series of injections so you have effective and long-lasting results. Since a single treatment often has a positive effect on mood and thinking, this therapy shows promise for treating suicidal thoughts and for reducing depression fast enough that you can engage in therapy and activities like exercise that might help your long-term recovery. As an added benefit, ketamine also works on pain receptors and reduces pain, which often accompanies depression and makes you feel worse.
Ketamine might provide the help you need to beat your depression, but you may also need to continue with other treatments as well. Your doctor can help you decide if this therapy is right for you.