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5 Things You Need to Know About Ketamine Therapy

    Ketamine is a drug that’s had an extremely negative stigma surrounding it. It’s often considered as a party drug or date rape drug used to immobilize other people. Additionally, because many people have stigmatized ketamine, ketamine therapy isn’t generally viewed in a positive light

    To set the record straight though, there could be tons of benefits for certain individuals who take it responsibly under medical monitoring. Only certain people qualify for ketamine therapy though, so keep reading to find out more.

    1. Ketamine treats severe depression

    According to new research, ketamine may be an effective treatment for some patients with severe major depressive disorder. Participants who took part in a ketamine trial experienced significant improvement in their symptoms within 24 hours of receiving a single intravenous dose of ketamine.

    These results indicate that there might be a future role for ketamine as a treatment for major depressive disorder, especially because it acts rapidly and is meant to have few side effects while used on an outpatient basis. However, further studies are needed before this can become standard clinical care.

    2. Ketamine comes in several forms.

    It’s important to note that ketamine is typically used in a medical setting, meaning it helps the doctor or psychiatrist monitor and appropriately administer doses for each individual patient. It can be injected through an IV, orally ingested in liquid form, or taken through a nasal spray.

    Every method of ingestion has potential side effects. Injecting patients may experience some pain or discomfort at the site of injection, while oral ingestion carries the risk of nausea and vomiting. A nasal spray may cause eye irritation and nose bleeds.

    When taken under proper medical supervision though, these risks are incredibly low. Most people won’t experience any negative effects from ingesting ketamine in one form or another.

    Ketamine is only helpful when regulated and used in a clinical setting as recommended by your doctor. It’s also important to note that ketamine therapy is not for everyone; it should always be administered under medical supervision. You also shouldn’t take ketamine on your own because the drug can cause adverse side effects like headache, confusion, drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting or constipation.

    3. Ketamine therapy offers a rapid effect.

    Compared with traditional antidepressants, which can take weeks to work, ketamine therapy works much faster. In fact, most patients feel some sort of relief within 2 hours of treatment. This can be especially helpful to patients recovering from traumatic injury, and interested individuals should consult a local and highly-rated pain management specialist.

    The downsides are that as with any type of drug administration, ketamine infusions can also have adverse side effects such as nausea and dizziness – but they’re usually only temporary and overall, it’s considered safe for short-term use.

    Another benefit? While traditional antidepressants can cause weight gain, ketamine is associated with weight loss. For those suffering from obesity as a result of depression, this could be a welcome change. 

    4. Ketamine is not traditional medicine.

    Ketamine is used as an alternative type of therapy. Only certain types of doctors accept ketamine as a treatment and it requires medical research and advice for the best results. However, ketamine was recently approved by the FDA to treat those with treatment-resistant depression.

    5. More studies are still needed on ketamine therapy.

    Unfortunately, even though there might be benefits for some patients suffering from major depressive disorder, there’s still not enough evidence to recommend ketamine therapy as a first-line treatment option for everyone suffering from the condition. There is a lack of data with regards to repeated infusions and whether they have cumulative antidepressant effects. In addition, long-term safety has yet to be determined.

    In the meantime, ketamine therapy remains a useful tool for some doctors to have in their arsenal when it comes to treating depression. It’s not a permanent fix for this mental health condition, but it can help relieve symptoms without the long wait that many medications require.

    Is Ketamine Therapy Right For You?

    Ketamine offers another treatment option for people who are suffering from depression, but it isn’t perfect just yet. There’s still not enough data surrounding how long its antidepressant effects last and the number of ketamine infusions required to feel relief from one’s depression symptoms.

    However, there are several advantages to this type of treatment. Patients experience a rapid effect – often feeling better hours after their infusion.

    Ketamine is also associated with weight loss and not weight gain, like traditional antidepressants. While more studies are needed to better understand the pros and cons of ketamine therapy, it’s still an excellent option for some patients who don’t respond well to traditional treatments.

    And even with these caveats, ketamine as an antidepressant remains a helpful tool for many doctors who need to help their patients recover from depression as soon as possible. While it’s not a permanent fix, it can certainly help reduce the symptoms of major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions that stem from it.