Digging Deeper in Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression

Digging Deeper in Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression

As a holistic health center we understand that different treatments work for different people. Some people suffer from what is known as “Treatment-resistant Depression” (TRD), which may not be helped by therapy or medication. That can be a difficult and demoralizing situation to live in, having little motivation and getting little enjoyment out of daily life, with seemingly no help to be found.

For anyone who missed our Ketamine information session at the office last month, we wanted to put together some additional information and resources you can read through at home. And we encourage anyone with other questions to please call our office at 813-923-2548. We’re available Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm, and Saturday, 7am-12pm.

Recent studies have shown that low-dose Ketamine infusions have a positive and long-lasting effect on TRD. Patients who were experiencing unwanted effects from antidepressant medications, or whose depressive symptoms kept recurring, found that after a surprisingly small number of Ketamine infusions their symptoms lifted rapidly.

In a study titled “Rapid and longer-term antidepressant effects of repeated ketamine infusions in treatment-resistant major depression” (Murrough et al. 2012) researchers administered medication to 24 TRD patients for 12 days, and ratings on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale dropped within two hours of treatment. They concluded at the end of their trials that results were “predictive of a sustained effect.”

Other recent studies have also produced positive results regarding Ketamine’s effectiveness and tolerability:

• “Serial infusions of low-dose ketamine for major depression” (Rasmussen et al. 2013)
• “Ketamine for treatment-resistant unipolar depression: current evidence” (Matthew et al. 2012)

Unlike traditional antidepressants (MAOIs, SSRIs, Tricyclics) which keep depressive symptoms at bay for the patient, Ketamine works more like an emotional reset. Medication can create the stability needed to benefit from therapy, but it can take weeks or months to begin seeing changes. Ketamine has been shown to take effect immediately, giving patients the energy and motivation to make changes in their life. Some observations have even shown regrowth of atrophied neurons in the brain, leading to the previously described long-term effects.

We feel this is an important step forward for mental health. Depression takes a debilitating toll on a person’s life, and when there seems to be no way out from under it many people give up – some even consider suicide. Our goal is to provide a new alternative for people who have felt hopeless and defeated. We want to create new opportunities for those people by exploring new treatment methods, and combining them with our specialized services that strengthen the body and relieve the mind.

Success stories are cropping up all over the world involving Ketamine treatment for pain as well as depression. This website details the story of an Arizona man struggling with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) who experienced dramatic relief with the help of anesthesiologist Dr. Ronald Harbut. And members of this message board share personal stories of their experience with Ketamine treatments.

We want to add to the number of success stories in the world, starting right here in Tampa Bay. Only a number of clinics in the entire country are able to offer this treatment, and we are proud to be staffed by a team of experienced physicians that can help you safely and effectively navigate your life in a happier direction.

For even more information you can take a look at the Ketamine Advocacy Network, which is complete with databases of published studies and media coverage to browse. And we encourage you again to call our office to learn more about our treatment process, our physicians, and our other services that can help you deal with depression or any other troubles in your life.

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