Why Ketamine?2018-11-16T16:07:50+00:00

For Depression

Intravenous (IV) ketamine treatment for depression is, “perhaps the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,” according to the former NIMH director, Dr. Tom Insel.  I fully agree with Dr. Insel’s suggestion. Although the use of IV ketamine for depression is not FDA approved, research over the past decade has proven that it is a very safe and effective treatment for depression, alleviating severe symptoms of depression in a matter of hours to days for the majority of patients. Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests IV ketamine infusions are effective for other psychiatric conditions such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Because ketamine is a generic medication, it is highly unlikely that any pharmaceutical companies will invest the enormous amount of time and money that is required to obtain FDA approval.

For Pain

Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions are effective for chronic pain syndromes, especially those syndromes that have a neuropathic component, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), post-herpetic neuralgia, and neuropathic pain from peripheral nerve damage. There is no consensus in the medical literature on administration protocol, but the studies have shown that the duration of pain relief is related to duration of the ketamine infusion. Because of this, we have a different treatment protocol for our patients that we treat for chronic pain, compared to our depression treatment protocol. Our protocol for administering IV ketamine for chronic pain takes approximately twice as long per treatment compared to our depression protocol, and we recommend a series of infusions as part of the initial treatment. When patients are assessed in our office we discuss the specifics of the protocol further. All of our treatments are individualized on a case-by-case-basis depending of a number of factors. 

Typical treatment of chronic pain is based on a trial and error approach using antidepressants, anti-epileptics, and opioids, and efficacy is limited to 30-40% of patients having adequate or good pain relief. At Ketamine For Life, we are excited about being able to provide a safe and relatively new, effective option for those suffering with chronic pain.

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