6 conditions Ketamine Could Be Effective For
Lately, it feels like everyone in the medical community is talking about ketamine. After being synthesized in the late 1960s and used for over 50 years as a surgical anesthetic, ketamine has only recently been shown to be effective for a wide range of conditions. In this blog, we talk about six conditions that ketamine could be effective for.
Ketamine for Depression
Ketamine has recently received a lot of attention as a quick and easy treatment for depression which differs from traditional treatments like antidepressant medications and psychotherapy that often take weeks to months before an improvement is seen. Ketamine exerts its effect by inducing the growth of new neural connections, thereby increasing the brain’s neuroplasticity. Incredibly, many patients report an improvement in their mood after only the first ketamine session within 24 hours, although most people continue treatments for six to eight weeks to gain the best response. Even patients with treatment-resistant depression seem to improve when ketamine is added to their traditional antidepressant.
Ketamine for Suicidality
Ketamine has also been found to aid in the acute treatment of patients with acute suicidal behavior. In fact, the FDA recently approved an intranasal ketamine spray to be administered by doctors for suicidal behavior to calm suicidal patients and take advantage of the rapid-acting antidepressant physiology. The spray is intended to work alongside traditional antidepressants to help the patient and needs to be administered in the clinic.
Ketamine for Anxiety
In addition to mood disorders, chronic pain, and suicidality, ketamine also works well for controlling anxiety from conditions such as general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. It is not well understood how ketamine works for anxiety but researchers think that ketamine changes right frontal theta.
Ketamine for PTSD
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a set of anxieties, intrusive flashbacks, nightmares, and other painful memories of an extremely stressful experience. Although typically used to describe service people returning from war, PTSD can be observed in anyone who has undergone a sufficiently traumatic experience. Certain stimuli viscerally remind a patient of the negative experience and can cause a variety of symptoms similar to depression. Ketamine helps the patient remain calm and discover novel coping mechanisms for these triggers.
Ketamine for Substance Use Disorder
Ketamine has been found to help patients recover from opioid addiction by decreasing the pain and cravings associated with withdrawal. In addition to alcohol, researchers are currently examining ketamine’s efficacy in treating other addictive substances such as alcohol and cocaine, and the initial results are promising. It’s believed that ketamine’s effect is mediated through its ability to help your brain learn new behaviors by forming new neural connections and pathways.
Ketamine for Chronic Pain
Researchers have also found that ketamine is useful for helping patients with chronic pain. In one study, ketamine was intravenously infused for 20 minutes and found to significantly reduce the pain reported by the study patients. It is hoped that repeat ketamine treatments would lead to long-term improvements by reprogramming the patient’s pain pathways. The benefits of utilizing ketamine for controlling pain cannot be overstated. Most doctors currently rely on opioids to treat pain which can directly lead to addiction or drug-seeking behavior by patients. Ketamine would greatly reduce this behavior because it has a much lower risk of addiction and doesn’t provide the same ‘high’ that other drugs do.
Isha’s Approach to Ketamine Assisted Therapy
ISHA’s approach is to offer this promising treatment as an oral therapy consisting of ketamine lozenges, to patients in the comfort of their own homes. With the use of telehealth, there is no need to find childcare or travel to a clinic or doctor’s office. Our medical professionals guide you through your sessions, monitor your progress, and help you overcome your illness.