Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that has been approved by the FDA for use in high doses during surgical procedures. Despite not being officially approved by the FDA, smaller doses of ketamine, known as “sub-anesthetic” injections, are commonly used off-label to treat a range of mental health and substance use disorders, including depression and pain.
Depression has become a major issue affecting large portions of the population in recent years. To combat this, various medications have been developed that target specific brain receptors, such as serotonin, dopamine, and mu-opioid receptors, in an effort to correct neurochemical imbalances and relieve depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. These medications are typically taken daily to achieve the desired effect.
Unlike traditional medication-based treatments, ketamine-assisted therapy utilizing a psychedelic approach creates a powerful and fleeting psychological experience referred to as a “mystical or peak experience.” This intense experience leads to a lingering positive impact, manifested in improved mood, heightened self-awareness, increased motivation, enhanced cognitive abilities, and altered behavior.
How Does Ketamine Help Treat Mood Disorders?
Ketamine infusions help treat various conditions like depression and anxiety by acting on a specific type of glutamate receptor in the brain, leading to changes in brain function and ultimately producing its antidepressant effects. It’s still not entirely clear how ketamine works, but it is thought to increase neuroplasticity, enhance the growth of new connections between brain cells, and regulate mood-related brain chemicals.
How Does Ketamine Help Treat Chronic Pain?
Ketamine is known to have pain-relieving effects, and it has been used in medical settings for pain management for decades. It works by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor in the brain, which is involved in the perception of pain. By blocking the NMDA receptor, ketamine can reduce the sensitivity to pain and provide pain relief for various conditions: migraines, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain.
In addition to its direct effects on the NMDA receptor, ketamine is also thought to influence pain indirectly by changing the activity of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a role in pain processing.
How is Ketamine Administered?
Ketamine can be administered in several ways, including intravenous (IV) injection, intramuscular (IM) injection, and oral consumption.
Intravenous (IV) Ketamine infusion: This is the most common method of administering ketamine for anesthesia and pain management. In this method, the drug is injected directly into a vein, allowing it to take effect quickly.
Intramuscular (IM) Ketamine injection: In this method, the drug is injected into a muscle, typically the upper arm, thigh, or hip. This method is less commonly used than IV injection but may be used in certain medical settings.
Oral ketamine: Oral ketamine is not commonly used as it is less effective and has a slower onset of action than other methods of administration.
Nasal Spray: Spravato (esketamine) is a prescription medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depression. It is a nasal spray form of ketamine.
Is Ketamine Treatment Safe?
When used appropriately and under the supervision of a licensed medical professional, ketamine treatment can be safe and effective in treating depression, chronic pain, and other medical conditions.
The Ketamine Infusion Process
The ketamine infusion process typically involves the following steps:
Consultation: Before undergoing a ketamine infusion, patients will typically have a consultation with their doctor to determine if ketamine is the right treatment for them. The doctor will assess the patient’s medical history, current health status, and other medications being taken to determine the appropriate dose and frequency of ketamine infusions.
Preparation: Patients are usually asked to not eat for several hours before the infusion to minimize the risk of nausea and vomiting. They may also be asked to change into comfortable clothing and to remove any jewelry or metallic items that may interfere with the infusion process.
Monitoring: During the infusion, patients are typically monitored for vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, to ensure the safety of the patient.
Administration: The ketamine is typically administered intravenously (IV) into a vein, either through a drip or a bolus. The infusion process usually takes about 40 to 60 minutes.
Observation: After the infusion, patients are usually monitored for any adverse effects and for any signs of improvement in their symptoms.
Who is A Good Candidate for Ketamine Treatment?
A good candidate for ketamine treatment is typically someone who has not responded to traditional treatments for a variety of mood disorders and chronic pain conditions. However, the best way to determine if someone is a good candidate for ketamine treatment is to consult with a licensed medical professional.
Learn How Ketamine Can Help You
At Alive Health+Wellness in Wildwood, MO, we understand the challenges faced by those struggling with mood disorders and chronic pain conditions. That’s why we offer ketamine treatment in Wildwood, MO, a cutting-edge solution that has helped many of our patients find relief from their symptoms. Our experienced medical team is committed to providing personalized, high-quality care to help you achieve your goals and improve your quality of life. Don’t wait any longer to take control of your mental and physical well-being. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about ketamine treatment and how it can help you.
It’s important to note that ketamine should only be administered by a licensed medical professional in a clinical setting, as the drug can cause serious side effects if not used properly. The method of administration, dosage, and frequency of use may vary depending on the individual and the medical condition being treated.