While ketamine has been approved by the FDA for the induction and maintenance of anesthesia since the 1960s, it’s now being increasingly used for the management of mental health disorders and chronic pain management. While ketamine treatment isn’t considered a first-line therapy, it may be used for treatment-resistant conditions when other traditional treatments fail.
Ketamine treatment holds promise as an effective treatment due to how it affects the brain and how quickly it starts working. Researchers think that ketamine prompts connections to regrow between brain cells that are involved in mood.
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area and you’re interested in this treatment option, here are some of the conditions you can get treated for with ketamine.
Chronic Pain Management
In lower doses, ketamine treatment has been shown to ease pain. Further, it helps sedatives work more effectively and it can help reduce the number of addictive painkillers patients require post-operatively and during burn care specifically.
Some studies suggest that weekly administration of ketamine can help reduce symptoms of depression in just a few hours. This is compared to the several weeks required for antidepressants to build up in the system and start working. The effects on depression actually occur as the ketamine is leaving the body, so no buildup is required.
This novel therapy is particularly helpful in treatment-resistant depression when all other traditional treatments have failed to improve health outcomes. Studies have also found that it is effective in treating suicidal ideation as well.
Today, most patients with anxiety are treated with antidepressants, SSRIs, SNRIs, or a benzodiazepine. If they don’t respond, they trial another pharmaceutical, and then another, and another. It can be a long and frustrating process to get an anxiety disorder under control with traditional treatment options. Even when nonpharmacologic therapies are added to the treatment plan, 30 to 40% of patients still won’t achieve remission from anxiety.
Given these facts, ketamine can also play an important role in managing the symptoms of anxiety. Evidence suggests this novel treatment can be rapidly effective in treating general anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). It has been shown to rapidly improve social functioning and work functioning during maintenance treatment. What’s more, just one treatment may improve symptoms for several weeks.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD may be diagnosed months or even years after a person experienced a traumatic effect. It can cause many symptoms that affect day-to-day life, including intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbness, agitation, and difficulty sleeping and concentrating. PTSD is often resistant to treatment. All cases are unique and may respond to different therapies.
There is evidence to indicate that ketamine treatment can quickly and significantly reduce the severity of symptoms in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. It may even prevent symptoms from occurring if administered immediately after a traumatic event.
Ketamine is still being studied as a treatment option for a wide range of psychiatric disorders and for pain management. However, it shows promise as a novel treatment, particularly as an alternative option for treatment-resistant cases.
If you’re interested in ketamine treatment and you’re in the Bay Area, book a mobile appointment with Rejuv IV. After a short telehealth appointment, we will come to you to administer ketamine sublingually for the treatment of your condition.