The efficacy of IV Ketamine infusions in treating MDD has been demonstrated in multiple small randomized control trials and analyzed collectively via meta-analysis by Kishimoto et al. Their analysis showed that IV Ketamine-infusion was associated with rapid and significant remission of depressive symptoms lasting up to one week. Another analysis of double-blind randomized control trials using IV infusions of ketamine demonstrated that the treatment was safe and rapidly efficacious in treating both unipolar depression and bipolar affective disorder with the major depressive episode.
The Struggle With Antidepressants
For one in nine Americans who take antidepressants, most medications can take up to 6 weeks to have an effect. These medications can make patients feel worse - even suicidal - before they feel better. Side effects such as weight gain and loss of libido can make these medications intolerable for many patients. At least 30% of the patients don't respond to them at all, which leaves them with few other options.
How Ketamine Can Help
Ketamine works to repair synapses that have been compromised by depression so the neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, that regulate your mood can work more effectively. If you’ve been struggling with depression, you’re likely familiar with the process of trying antidepressants, which take several weeks to begin working. And if a medication doesn’t work, you often need several weeks to know for sure, leading to a long process of trial and error that may ultimately not help with your condition. When you have severe depression, this process can be very discouraging.
Ketamine Provides Results
Ketamine, by comparison, works quickly, with many patients reporting dramatic effects following just one treatment. Feelings of dread, hopelessness, and despair, even if they’re severe enough to make you think about hurting yourself, can quickly dissipate within a day of your first Ketamine treatment, if not immediately afterward. If seemingly nothing has helped with your depression, Ketamine may be the treatment you’ve been waiting for.
What Should I Expect During A Ketamine Therapy Session?
Dr. Madkaiker administers Ketamine through an IV to ensure you get a steady dose appropriate for your body weight. The treatment lasts between 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of the dose. You’ll remain awake because you won’t receive a large enough dose to lose consciousness.
There’s a chance you’ll have an “out of body” experience or more subtle changes in your perceptions, such as seeing bright colors. Many patients find these side effects of Ketamine pleasant, and Dr. Madkaiker and his team will make sure you feel safe and comfortable while you undergo Ketamine infusion therapy. Dr. Madkaiker also recommends having a loved one in the room during the treatment.
The effects of Ketamine wear off soon after treatment, and you’ll likely be able to leave within a half-hour of the end of the procedure. You shouldn’t drive a car, operate machinery, or make important decisions for 12 hours after the procedure, so make sure to arrange transportation home.