Treating severe depression can feel like a losing battle. Antidepressants are often ineffective, and other treatments may provide only temporary relief. But recently, researchers found that a surgical anesthetic from the 1970s could be the key to preventing suicide in severely depressed patients.
Ketamine, which was initially used as anesthesia in the Vietnam War, proved to be a very safe medication when used correctly. It’s even safe for anesthetizing children before surgical procedures. Ketamine doesn’t suppress the respiratory or circulatory systems, so it can be used safely for people who are in shock or have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
For depression, ketamine can quickly lower the instance of suicidal thoughts with long-lasting effects. A four-hour ketamine intravenous infusion can treat depression for weeks, and studies show ketamine is twice as effective as traditional SSRI antidepressants.
Side effects include hallucinations and euphoria. Ketamine should only be administered by a medical professional in a controlled setting to prevent the risk of abuse. If you’d like to know if ketamine infusions could help you manage severe depression, call my office to schedule a consultation.