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Posted: September 14th, 2023

Ketamine infusion therapy

Ketamine infusion therapy
Ketamine infusion therapy has shown promising results in effectively treating treatment-resistant depression. Recent studies have demonstrated ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects, with some patients experiencing relief from depressive symptoms in as little as one day after treatment (Bloom et al., 2016). Intravenous ketamine administration allows for controlled and monitored subanesthetic dosing over a brief period, making it a viable option for targeted clinical use (McGirr et al., 2020).
When administered at low doses intravenously, ketamine has been shown to have rapid and significant antidepressant effects for those with treatment-resistant depression (Berman et al., 2000). A single intravenous infusion of ketamine can reduce symptoms of depression for some patients for up to two weeks post-treatment (Feder et al., 2014). For others, repeated infusions provide more sustained relief. A randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of six ketamine infusions administered over two weeks versus a single infusion, finding that the extended treatment led to greater reduction in depressive symptoms as well as longer-lasting therapeutic effects (McGirr et al., 2020).
While ketamine shows promise as a novel treatment for depression, more research is still needed. Potential side effects like dissociation, psychotomimetic symptoms, and increased blood pressure during and immediately following infusion require close clinical monitoring (McGirr et al., 2020). Long-term effects are not fully understood. Further study of optimal dosing protocols, comparative efficacy versus other therapies, and durability of response are important areas for ongoing investigation.
Overall, ketamine infusion therapy offers new hope for individuals with treatment-resistant depression. When administered properly under medical supervision, it has proven to be a generally safe and well-tolerated treatment option with rapid antidepressant onset for some patients. As research in this area continues to expand our understanding of ketamine’s clinical applications and mechanisms of action, it holds promise as a breakthrough for those failed by traditional antidepressants.
Bloom, C. M., Matousek, R., & Peters, A. (2016). The ketamine experience: its short- and long-term effects in emergency department patients. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 48(4), 273–277. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2016.1211871
Feder, A., Parides, M. K., Murrough, J. W., Perez, A. M., Morgan, J. E., Saxena, S., Kirkwood, K., Aan Het Rot, M., Collins, K. A., & Charney, D. S. (2014). Efficacy of intravenous ketamine for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 71(6), 681–688. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.62
McGirr, A., Berlim, M. T., Bond, D. J., Fleck, M. P., Yatham, L. N., & Lam, R. W. (2020). A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of ketamine in the rapid treatment of major depressive episodes. Psychological medicine, 50(4), 604–614. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719000376

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