At Priority You MD, we use ketamine IV therapy, an emerging mental health treatment, to help our clients address concerns like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Since ketamine treatment is still relatively new, you may be unaware of its benefits and potential. We’ll explore what to expect from ketamine infusion therapy at our ketamine clinic and reveal how it could help you regain a better quality of life.
What Is Ketamine IV Therapy?
Ketamine IV therapy is a medical treatment that involves administering the drug ketamine intravenously to help enhance cognitive function or treat specific psychiatric conditions. Researchers first synthesized ketamine in the 1960s, and it was initially used as a general anesthetic.
Today, it’s recognized as one of the safest anesthetics because it has minimal effects on the respiratory patterns of recipients. During ketamine IV therapy, the drug is administered at significantly lower doses compared to when it’s used as an anesthetic.
Ketamine for Depression
Traditionally, depression has been treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Unfortunately, these medications don’t work for everyone, which is where ketamine for depression may be able to help.
When ketamine was developed as an anesthetic in the 1960s, scientists discovered that it had an antidepressant effect. After considerable study, they learned that this is because ketamine doesn’t target serotonin the way SSRIs do but instead works on the glutamate system, which comprises around 80% of the neurotransmitters in your brain.
By triggering the production of glutamate, ketamine can help encourage the brain to form new neural pathways. The development of new neural pathways makes your brain more adaptable, which can help reduce depression.
Ketamine for Anxiety
SSRIs are also used to help treat anxiety disorders, along with another class of medications known as benzodiazepines and therapeutic approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy. Like ketamine for depression, ketamine for anxiety targets glutamate, which plays a central role in important brain functions like:
- Mood regulation
Glutamate also supports your brain’s neuroplasticity — its ability to adapt due to new experiences. Researchers have theorized that since ketamine targets the glutamate system, it can potentially help rewire the brain in order to disrupt problematic thought patterns.
Ketamine for PTSD
PTSD is a debilitating mental health condition that usually arises following a traumatic event, like an assault, an accident, war, or the loss of a loved one. Traditional methods of managing PTSD include medications and therapy.
In the 1990s, some soldiers injured in the war in Iraq were treated with ketamine as an anesthetic. These soldiers seemed to develop PTSD at lower rates than soldiers who received other types of anesthesia.
Research has suggested that prolonged exposure to trauma and stress can destroy neurons in the brain. Ketamine for PTSD may help restore neural pathways, allowing you to better manage your symptoms.
Ketamine vs. Traditional Antidepressants
What are the advantages of ketamine vs. traditional antidepressants like SSRIs?
How They Work
First, these medications are fundamentally different in how they work in the brain. SSRIs target serotonin and norepinephrine, which are chemicals linked to moods and feelings of well-being. Specifically, SSRIs work to block the chemicals in the brain that break down serotonin to ensure that your brain retains higher serotonin levels. Ketamine, on the other hand, targets glutamate and can help rewire the brain in order to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Speed of Action
With traditional medications and therapy, you might be in treatment for several weeks before you notice any changes. Ketamine, on the other hand, is fast-acting. Some patients notice a change in their symptoms within as little as two hours.
Ketamine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier better than traditional antidepressants. Since ketamine is better able to access your brain, it can provide more potent relief compared to SSRIs.
The Ketamine Treatment Process
Before you receive ketamine infusions, we’ll perform a comprehensive evaluation of your health at our ketamine treatment center to determine whether this approach will be an appropriate option for you. During the evaluation, we’ll review your current medications so we can ensure they won’t conflict with the effects or results of ketamine therapy.
We administer ketamine intravenously. Each treatment lasts anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. After treatment, we’ll monitor you for about 30 minutes. How many treatments will you need to feel relief? That varies from person to person. We can settle on a treatment plan once we become more familiar with your symptoms and medical history.
Benefits of Ketamine Infusions
There are benefits of ketamine IV therapy that extend beyond treating anxiety, depression, and PTSD:
- Ketamine therapy can provide relief in as little as a few hours.
- Ketamine is particularly effective at treating conditions that don’t respond to traditional methods.
- Ketamine promotes neuroplasticity, which can help you develop better thought patterns and behaviors.
- Ketamine can enhance your cognitive abilities, aiding in memory and focus.
- Ketamine can provide long-term relief, extending the length of time you’re able to go without experiencing symptoms.
Ketamine therapy is one piece of a larger, more comprehensive treatment puzzle. When you combine ketamine therapy with other treatment modalities like cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can enhance the outcome even more.
Ketamine Infusion Therapy in Clearwater, FL
At our ketamine treatment center, we can help you finally find relief from mild to severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. At Priority You MD, we closely monitor you during your treatments, which are carried out in comfortable, quiet rooms to enhance your relaxation.
To learn more about our ketamine clinic or to schedule a consultation, contact us online or give us a call!