Ketamine research began years ago but is picking up steam. Because traditional psychiatric treatment lacks a prompt response to imminent suicidality, Ketamine’s results stand out. Deaths due to suicide are higher than most think - the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. A near-instantaneous disruption to this tragic process will save untold lives.
IV Ketamine infusions for depression help more than two-thirds of chronic sufferers. With so many chronic patients resistant to standard treatments, this success rate is very compelling to both patients and physicians.
Suicidal ideations are just one target of Ketamine infusion therapy
. People dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar depression (BPD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) also seek treatment.
It’s natural to wonder about Ketamine side effects.
When a medication takes center stage for its success - safety concerns are not far behind. While the list of conditions that benefit from Ketamine treatment grows, the most prominent caution is potential addiction. Over the years, a minority of recreational users captured the media’s imagination of Ketamine as an illicit drug consumed during dance parties. Unfortunately, despite Ketamine’s considerable history of legal, vital use, some physicians and researchers overestimate this possibility. No evidence shows that IV Ketamine infusion, prescribed and administered by qualified medical personnel, results in addiction. The one thing that is not known is the long-term effects of even properly dosed therapy. However, Ketamine appears to rebuild the brain, not destroy it.
Who should not undergo Ketamine treatment?
One group of higher-risk patients are those with cardiac conditions. On the other hand, Ketamine’s mild side effect profile includes a generally benign impact on cardiovascular systems. Patients are monitored during treatment, but Ketamine’s popularity as a battlefield medicine relates to its ability to maintain cardiovascular normalization. Still, some cardiovascular preconditions may be a risk factor.
Patients with a history of addiction, particularly to this drug class or those with similar effects, may be at a higher risk of abuse. Ketamine is a controlled substance and would have to be obtained illegally to facilitate illicit use.
Another population of concern is bipolar patients. This group can be sensitive to anti=dperessant medications to the point of mania.
Relatedly, sufferers of conditions with psychotic features are considered higher risk Ketamine treatment recipients.
Finally, is the possibility of interaction with existing medications. Assessing the potential dangers are assessed and managed by the administering clinician.
In all possible contraindications cases, the treating physician makes the final call based on the clinical evidence, their experience, and the patient’s specifics.
Ketamine and Pain
Serious, chronic pain conditions are notoriously difficult to treat. On one layer is the pain itself. Constant torment and reduction of functionality can lead to depression and anxiety. Ketamine has analgesic properties and is used surgically. Some patients’ unending pain ends, at least temporarily, under high doses of Ketamine. More prolonged, significant doses may help with chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), neuropathy, migraines, and other treatment-resistant pain-based illnesses.
Electroconvulsive Therapy and Ketamine
Ketamine is considered an option for depression along with TMS and ECT. Analysis of Ketamine therapy’s relationships to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is ongoing. Ketamine may multiply and speed up the antidepressant effects of ECT. Another hypothesis is that either therapy’s use reduces the relapse rate of the other.
ECT is an involved treatment with more potential side effects and is less tolerated by patients. It may also cost more. However, ECT’s antidepressant effects, in particular, may persist longer than Ketamine’s. If and until one supplants the other, they will likely coexist as interventions for severe depression and suicidality.