If you suffer from depression, you are not alone. An estimated 264 million people are affected by depression across the globe. While depression affects everyone in different ways, the one thing everyone suffering from depression has in common is that they often find it difficult to treat. There are many different medications prescribed to treat depression, all with their own side effects. But many suffering from depression feel like nothing works.
This is one reason why patients and mental health professionals alike are exploring ketamine infusion therapy. At face value, the idea of using ketamine to treat depression may seem rather strange. But there is a reason why it's catching on.
Ketamine infusion therapy is one of two means of administering ketamine for the treatment of depression. It essentially involves treating the patient with ketamine through the use of an I.V. Considering the most effective way of administering ketamine, infusion therapy allows the ketamine to enter the patient's bloodstream directly. This means that the effects of ketamine will be felt more quickly and often in a stronger sense. These types of infusions were originally used as anesthetics. The effects of an infusion can last for days or weeks, with patients typically receiving about six infusions over the course of two to three weeks as a part of their initial induction phases. Once the induction phase is over, they will receive maintenance treatments every two to six weeks.
Every potential patient should discuss ketamine infusion therapy with their mental healthcare provider. Every person is different and will respond individually to therapy. But generally speaking, people suffering from serious mood disorders in which depression is a common symptom, such as major depressive disorder, are potential candidates. Those with bipolar disorder can also potentially receive this therapy, though it is not advised for those suffering from active psychosis, mania, or cardiovascular disease.
While the effects of ketamine infusions are fast, patients will typically begin to see an overall response within six infusions. After those infusions, they will begin to maintain their benefits through regular infusions.
It's important to note that not everyone will respond to ketamine infusion therapy. However, it's a great potential alternative to those who have not responded to standard medications and therapy.