More than 17 million adults suffer from depression, according to the most recent data. Despite its prevalence, researchers have made very few advances in developing new depression treatments. Enter ketamine infusions. It almost seems as if this wonder drug could treat any disorder or disease related to the mind: depression, PTSD, chronic pain, and bipolar disorder are just a few of the disorders ketamine infusions have been shown to treat.
But as with any treatment, doctors, researchers, and patients all must ask: Are ketamine infusions safe?
After all, they haven’t received specific FDA approval for treating depression. Ketamine has been abused as a club drug. And it’s been used for decades as a horse tranquilizer. Keep reading, and we’ll answer these concerns and more!
Ketamine Infusions for Depression FDA Approval
Currently, the FDA has only approved ketamine as an anesthetic. But, ketamine’s nasal-spray cousin esketamine, now known as the drug Spravato, received FDA approval just last year. It has shown some effectiveness in treating treatment resistant depression – especially for veterans.
For a host of reasons, we recommend ketamine infusions over the esketamine nasal spray. You can read about those reasons in our blog “Why Ketamine Infusions.” But in brief, we have found ketamine infusions to be a better, safer treatment than the nasal spray because we know exactly how much of the drug your body absorbs and can tailor your infusions to your specific needs. And if you start to experience side effects, we can stop the infusion or alter the amount of ketamine we put into your bloodstream.
Ketamine Infusions Side Effects
As with any drug, ketamine infusions have some side effects. But late last year, a team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health determined the low-dose ketamine infusions are relatively side effect free for patients with treatment resistant depression.
The study compiled data from research conducted at NIH for the past 13 years. The researchers looked at data from 163 patients who had major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder along with 25 healthy controls. The researchers evaluated a common ketamine side effect known as dissociation as well as headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, and more – totaling 120 potential side effects. Of those, only 34 were specifically linked to ketamine.
“The most common short-term side effect was feeling strange or loopy,” said Dr. Elia Acevedo-Diaz. “Most side effects peaked within an hour of ketamine administration and were gone within two hours. We did not see any serious, drug-related adverse events or increased ketamine cravings with a single-administration.”
Are Ketamine Infusions Addictive?
The study also examined whether or not the participants craved ketamine after treatment. The researchers didn’t find any link between a single ketamine infusion and a ketamine drug addiction.
Because ketamine has been abused as a club drug and because each patient needs a tailored ketamine dosage, we strongly advise against self-medicating with ketamine. If you are struggling with chronic depression or chronic pain and traditional treatments haven’t helped, set up a free consult with us. Don’t treat your depression or chronic pain on your own.
Why Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine infusion therapy has been proven effective. It has relieved severe depression in 70% of patients who have tried it. Read this blog to learn more about one man’s amazing experience with Ketamine Infusions.
If you’re wondering if Ketamine Infusions could provide the relief from your depression or chronic pain that you’ve been looking for, simply schedule a free 15 minute consultation with one of the doctors at Virginia Infusion Therapies in Leesburg, Virginia.