Over the past 20 years, ketamine has increasingly been used to treat patients suffering from depression, psychiatric disorders and chronic pain conditions. Rapidly gaining popularity because of its impressive ability to succeed in improving severe psychiatric and pain symptoms where more traditional treatment methods have failed, ketamine has been called a "wonder drug," "truly remarkable," and many, many more superlatives.
Upwards of 70% of depressed individuals respond positively to ketamine infusions, and their response is obvious almost immediately. Unlike antidepressants, which can take weeks or months to kick in, ketamine works immediately – if it's going to work for any given patient, he or she will know after just one or two infusions.
Ketamine is administered via IV infusion. Depending on whether a patient is being treated for psychiatric disorders or chronic pain, the length of the infusion fluctuates. Ketamine can also be administered orally, sublingually, intranasally or intramuscularly, though the IV infusion has emerged as the standard route of administration. Infusions take place in a comfortable office environment, and are carefully monitored by trained medical professionals, often with a background in emergency medicine and/or anesthesia.
The reason why ketamine works so effectively is because of the way it works on NDMA receptors to repair damaged neural connections in the brain. Brain scans take before and after a ketamine infusion show wildly different things: before, the brain looks like a leafless tree during winter; after, the brain lights up, looking like a tree in full bloom during the summertime.
Studies continue to show the positive effects of ketamine for depression, chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and CRPS, and a variety of other psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, PTSD and more. Currently, ketamine infusions are not covered by insurance, though we are hoping that will change as research continues to prove that ketamine is one of the most effective treatments for depression and pain available on the market today.