Today most depression is treated with oral antidepressants known as SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Common drugs include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. Or SNRI (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor). This includes Pristiq, Cymbalta, Fetzima, and Effexor. These treatments are only effective in 47% of patients and have challenging side effects. Ketamine started as an FDA-approved anesthetic. Now is being used as an extremely successful treatment for these SSRI and SNRI resistant depression patients. When used in a series of treatments, we are able to help over 83% of patients who failed traditional therapy.
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How Does Ketamine Help with Depression? (The Science)
In recent years, research has shown that serotonin–the chemical once thought to be solely responsible for happiness–only plays a part in the development of depressive conditions/symptoms. There is a second pathway at the NMDA receptor that plays an equal or possibly a more important role in depression. Ketamine is able to act at this receptor and increase glutamate (an important neurotransmitter) and cause a cascade of events that result in synaptogenesis (new nerve connections) and the reversal of the negative effects of chronic stress and depression in the brain (Prefrontal cortex). Ketamine has even been shown to be effective in treating suicidal ideation.
What Does This Mean For Me? (Bottom Line)
When infused at a low dose into the bloodstream, IV ketamine treatments can bring about relief in up to 83% of patients who failed traditional antidepressants. Traditional antidepressants can take anywhere from weeks to months to fully feel the effects, but ketamine much works faster. Patients often feel improvement after a single treatment. However, an initial series of treatments will allow lasting results for several weeks to months.
Schedule an appointment today with Southern California Infusion Therapy to see if we can help you restore some quality back into your life.