Is Ketamine for Me?
As the number of Americans affected by mental health disorders continues to increase every year, treatment options continue to leave those who are affected feeling disappointed. Individuals suffering from a mental health disorder find that many aspects of their lives are affected. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, patients sometimes find that even after standard treatments, they still experience symptoms which affect their family life, social life, and work life. If you are one of the many people suffering from severe symptoms caused by mental health disorders or certain types of chronic pain, Ketamine therapy may finally provide the results you have been searching for.
Ketamine was first used by doctors in the 1960’s as an anesthesia medicine. Since the use of ketamine as an anesthesia resulted in patients feeling “disconnected”, it was approved to be used as a field anesthesia during the Vietnam war. Following the introduction of Propofol in the 1970’s, and the increase in the number of people abusing the drug for its psychedelic properties, Ketamine was made a class 3 drug and was used less in the medical field. However, research concerning potential uses of the drug continued and it was soon discovered that if properly monitored in a medical setting, Ketamine could be very effective in treating certain mental health disorders and helping with chronic pain. Unlike standard antidepressants, which take weeks to work, Ketamine can help patients feel better within a few hours.This is because Ketamine’s effects happen as the drug leaves your body whereas standard antidepressants need to build up in your body before they begin to work. Research has found that the use of Ketamine has been proven to be effective in treating mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, Ketamine has been very effective in offering chronic pain relief. Chronic pains caused by cancer, CRPS, fibromyalgia, postherpetic neuralgia, sickle cell disease, and spinal injury, have all been successfully managed and reduced through the use of Ketamine therapy.
In recent years, the FDA approved the use of Esketamine, or Spravato™, as a potentially fast acting antidepressant for those with treatment resistant depression. Spravato™ is very similar to Ketamine. Unlike most antidepressants, which are taken orally by swallowing a pill, Spravato™ is taken via the nose from a nasal spray, being most effective if taken in conjunction with an oral anti depressant. Since Spravato™ is quite similar chemically to Ketamine, it also has the potential to cause the same side effects of hallucinations and out of body experiences. Because of this, Spravato™ can only be taken at a clinic and under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. This measure was put in place by the FDA to ensure the drug does not leave patients feeling any side effects as well as to avoid abuse and misuse of the medication. Studies have shown that Spravato™, if taken with an oral antidepressant, is extremely effective when it comes to treating patients with treatment resistant depression. Studies show that patients who use Spravato™ are 50-70% less likely to relapse.
Mayo Clinic provides a great video on some of the effectiveness of Esketamine. Reach out to us to learn more!