Information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy

“Recent data suggest that ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,” says Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
    •     Ketamine is an FDA approved medication for general anesthesia since the 1960s and is used to prepare patients for surgery. In recent years, it has been shown to be
    • a powerful tool for patients with treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, Bipolar, OCD, and suicidal thoughts. Low dose Ketamine is a very safe medication for use
    • in the outpatient clinic.

    • How Does Ketamine work?
    •     Most antidepressants are taken for 4-6 weeks before they exert their full effect and change the way neurons communicate. Ketamine is different since its effect on
    • depression happens as it leaves the body. Ketamine therapy works by blocking NMDA receptors for glutamate, which produces a disassociative state characterized
    • by a sense of detachment from one's body and the external world. The exact mechanism by which it alleviates depression is not fully understood.
    •     One theory is that it prompts the regrowth of connections between brain cells that are involved in mood. The effect can be profound and it works far more rapidly
    • than antidepressants.

    • Is there evidence supporting the use of Ketamine?
    •     In March 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry published a consensus statement on Ketamine for mood disorders where several prominent
    • doctors agreed on the use Ketamine as a viable treatment option. Several other studies have shown positive results and there are numerous ongoing studies assessing
    • the efficacy of Ketamine.

    • When do patients see the results of Ketamine therapy?
    •     One of the most advantageous qualities of Ketamine is the immediacy of the effect. The effects are felt instantly and this may prevent hospitalization, job loss,
    • school failure, etc.

      1. Key Facts About Ketamine
      2. 1.  Ketamine is one of the most widely used drugs in medicine, and is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.
      3. 2.  Ketamine has a remarkably safe track record in surgical settings, and is often used in pediatric surgery.
      4. 3.  About 70% of patients with treatment-resistant depression, Bipolar, and PTSD experience rapid relief after a low-dose ketamine infusion.
      5. These patients' cases are the most difficult, lasting years or even decades, and have not responded to any other treatments.
      6. 4.  Ketamine must be administered in a very precise way in order to achieve the antidepressant effect. Virtually all studies have used intravenous
      7. infusion to ensure it goes directly into the bloodstream at a carefully controlled rate and straight to the brain without being metabolized by the body.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry    American Psychiatric Association