Since researchers discovered the antidepressant effects of ketamine, it seems as though study after study unveils a potential new use for the drug. In addition to being a powerfully effective treatment for depression, anxiety and chronic pain, ketamine has also shown promise for PTSD prevention, the treatment of alcohol and cocaine abuse, and migraine headache relief.
One thing is for sure: the effects of ketamine are far-reaching, and almost every study sheds a positive light on this miracle drug. Here is a brief explanation of what we know about ketamine, as well as what is being studied in more depth.
Ketamine was originally developed in 1962, quickly earning FDA approval as a dissociative anesthetic. It was used liberally as a battlefield anesthetic in the Vietnam War, and is still used as an anesthetic for radiation, burn therapy, and as an alternative anesthetic for those who respond poorly to other drugs.
Ketamine for Depression, Anxiety & Psychiatric Disorders
Don’t take our word for it. Listen to the dozens of scientific publications and major media outlets that have declared ketamine to be the most groundbreaking depression treatment to be discovered in decades. Ketamine is proven to effectively improve depressive symptoms in upwards of 70% of patients—even those who have not responded to other depression treatments in the past.
Ketamine has not been FDA approved for the treatment of depression, mainly because it is a generic drug and there is no financial incentive for a pharmaceutical company to fund the clinical trials necessary to gain approval. Johnson & Johnson has, however, developed a similar drug—called esketamine—which has been fast-tracked for FDA approval for the treatment of depression. Once FDA approval is acquired, insurance companies will likely begin to cover the cost of ketamine infusions.
Ketamine for Chronic Pain & Migraine Headaches
Ketamine has been used to treat chronic pain longer than it has been used to treat depression. Patients with such conditions as CRPS, migraine headaches, Lyme disease and fibromyalgia enjoy relief from their pain when treated with ketamine infusions. Unlike opiates, and contrary to popular belief, ketamine is not physically addictive. It blocks NMDA receptors, minimizing acute pain and preventing chronic pain.
Ketamine to Prevent Alcohol & Cocaine Abuse
In recent studies with admitted alcoholics, ketamine infusions reduced relapse rates from 76% to 34% over the course of only one year. Researchers believe that ketamine can help minimize, or even eliminate, cravings for alcohol and cocaine. Ketamine adjusts the way that memories are formed—memories that can lead to addiction, relapse and other destructive behaviors. Alcoholics and drug addicts can be easily triggered to relapse by such memories as the sound of two glasses clinking together, or driving by the place where drug transactions were often performed, etc. By using ketamine to change these memories, the impact of triggers is dramatically reduced.
Ketamine to Prevent PTSD
In a recent study, when given a ketamine infusion one week prior to being exposed to a stressful situation, patients seemingly developed a buffer against developing a heightened fear response, which can oftentimes lead to PTSD. These findings may lead scientists to develop a vaccine, of sorts, against post traumatic stress disorder. There is much research to be done, but this could change the lives of military personnel and first responders—for the better!
Contact Ascend Ketamine
At Ascend Ketamine, located in the greater Houston area, we offer ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, anxiety, psychiatric disorders and chronic pain. We offer the most affordable ketamine infusions in Houston in an effort to make this life-changing treatment more accessible to more people. If you believe that ketamine treatments could help you or a loved one, we are happy to schedule a free consultation and answer your questions. To request a consultation, just complete the brief form below and we will get in touch with you shortly.