• Isha Team

How Effective Ketamine Be For Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevailing mental health problems in the United States. About 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders each year, making up 18.1% of the population. Only 37.9% of them receive treatment for anxiety. Among patients who receive treatment, 30-40% are unable to get relief from symptoms of anxiety through standard therapeutic approaches. As treatment of mental health issues evolved, some new drugs showed promising effects, and Ketamine is one of these medications. Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication and anesthetic agent in origin and has been used to treat treatment-resistant depression and anxiety disorders.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine, also known as a club drug or street drug with hallucinatory effects, has been used as a rapid-acting anesthetic agent since 1960 and an off-label treatment drug for depression and anxiety since 1990. Standard antidepressants affect chemical brain chemicals and improve the mood of the patients, but ketamine alters levels of glutamate in the brain, leading to rapid improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Ketamine and Anxiety Disorders:

Ketamine works rapidly to ameliorate symptoms of anxiety. It instantly targets synaptic receptors to mediate stress response and the formation of traumatic memories during anxiety. Ketamine treats a broad range of anxiety disorders that include generalized anxiety disorders (GAD), social anxiety disorders (SAD), and anxiety related to PTSD, phobias, and panic disorders.

Ketamine for Social Anxiety Disorder:

Jerome H Taylor et al. conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial to assess the efficacy of ketamine for social anxiety disorder. Eighteen individuals with DSM-5 SAD were given IV Ketamine infusions (0.5 mg/kg over 40 min) compared to the controlled group who received a placebo (saline infusion). Ratings of anxiety symptoms were assessed after 3 hours of infusion, followed for 14 days on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and self-reported anxiety on a visual analog scale (VAS-Anxiety). After two weeks of ketamine administration, patients exhibited a significant response to ketamine infusion as compared to placebo. On LSAS, response to ketamine infusion was 33.3%, and in contrast, placebo response was 0%. The VAS response was 88.89% and 52.94% to ketamine infusion and placebo, respectively. This response provided initial evidence of the efficacy of ketamine in reducing social anxiety.

Efficacy of ketamine for Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Paul Glue et al. studied an exploratory double-blind psychoactive-controlled replication study to determine the effects of ketamine in patients with treatment-refractory generalized anxiety and social anxiety disorders in 12 patients who were not currently depressed. Ketamine was administered in ascending doses (0.25, 0.5, and 1 mg/kg) at an interval of 7 days, and the control group was given midazolam 0.01 mg/kg. Ratings, dissociation, tolerability, and safety were detected for ketamine infusion. Rating of anxiety improved after one hour of ketamine infusion, which persisted for 7 days (1 week). In contrast, midazolam had a minor effect on the improvement of anxiety symptoms. Ketamine infusions were safe and well-tolerated. This study indicates ketamine acts as a potential therapeutic agent for reducing symptoms of treatment-refractory generalized anxiety and social anxiety disorders.

Efficacy of Ketamine as Maintenance Therapy:

A continuation of the above-mentioned study detected the effect of the maintenance dose of ketamine in 20 patients with generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). 18 out of 20 patients showed significant improvement in social functioning during maintenance treatment of ketamine. The researchers of this study concluded that ketamine might be an alternative treatment for patients with treatment-refractory GAD or SAD.


Several clinical studies indicate ketamine is effective in treatment of patients with treatment-resistant anxiety, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Its efficacy has been proven as maintenance therapy. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is also helpful in reducing anxiety. Ketamine can be taken via oral, sublingual, intranasal, and intravenous routes. Intravenous administration of ketamine has rapid effects on alleviation of symptoms of anxiety.

Suffering from Anxiety Disorder? Isha Health has a Solution!

If you have a social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or other therapeutic medications you've tried are not working, Ketamine-assisted therapy can help you. We provide high-quality, personalized, and cost-effective online ketamine-assisted therapy in the comfort of your home. The dedicated team at Isha health helps you plan a healthy, happy, and stress-free life.

Start your Ketamine-assisted therapy session today with Isha Health.

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