Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Treatment For Depression and Migraine Headaches
There is a growing body of research showing that with proper administration and screening, the prescription drug Ketamine has effective medical applications for the treatment of depression and migraine headaches. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, depression is widespread among Americans, with 13-14 million patients diagnosed as seriously depressed annually. Symptoms of depression include:
- Losing interest in normal activities and relationships for up to several weeks
- Impaired concentration
- Hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
- Significant weight loss (more than 5 percent of body weight in a month)
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
Some studies have shown that a series of ketamine infusions, carefully administered in a medical setting, can help ease depression. Ketamine seems to work quickly, unlike most antidepressants that often take weeks, even months, to provide relief, and Ketamine has reportedly been used in hospital settings to quickly curb suicidal thoughts, potentially saving lives.
Experts aren’t certain how Ketamine combats depression, but they think it works differently than common antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft – which may help explain why patients not helped by them, respond positively to Ketamine.
Dr. Matt McCarty warns that the ketamine infusions (six times over 12 days) should only be done after a patient undergoes psychiatric counseling and has tried different kinds of antidepressants without success. “It’s unconventional, but there is increasing evidence that it can work for patients who’ve found the usual treatment options unhelpful,” he said, stressing that it takes more than one dose and before treatment can begin, a full, expert assessment of a patient’s individual mental and physical health is required.
Medical research has also recently shown that in very small, properly calculated doses, Ketamine can alleviate migraine pain for up to several weeks and reduce the severity of migraine auras.
Ketamine can be delivered in a carefully controlled setting via intravenous infusion at Balcones Pain Consultants.
It is important to note that ketamine for depression is not FDA-approved and is considered an off-label (investigational) treatment.