What Are Ketamine Infusions?

Nov 16, 2022
 What Are Ketamine Infusions?
Treatment-resistant depression can be frustrating — and scary. The good news is ketamine infusions may be able to help even when medications and other options have proven unsuccessful. Read on to learn more.

Have you been unsuccessful in finding an effective treatment for your or your loved one's depression? If so, you aren't alone. Two out of three people may not respond to the first antidepressant they try, and the third won’t be helped by several treatments. Fortunately, there is another option available — ketamine infusions. 

At Mesquite Valley Integrated Health in Mesa, Arizona, board-certified family psychiatric nurse practitioners Jared Brink and Troy Fulton use an interactive approach to treat a wide variety of mental health needs, including depression. We provide comprehensive personalized care for adults and children to help improve their symptoms and create the best possible outcome. 

This post discusses treatment-resistant depression and how ketamine infusions can help.

Treatment-resistant depression

While there is no specific definition of treatment-resistant depression, some experts believe it is when an individual doesn't find relief from two different antidepressants in two different classes. Others think it occurs only after four treatments have not worked. 

For the people suffering, however, the exact criteria don't matter. All they know is they have tried various treatments and either still do not feel like themselves or have found the side effects to be intolerable.

Ketamine infusions

Ketamine has been used for decades, from medical anesthetic to an illegal recreational drug. More recently, experts have observed its helpfulness in a number of psychiatric conditions, including treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It may also aid people suffering from suicidal thoughts and attempts as well as suicidal ideation. 

Unlike medication, which can take a number of weeks to tell if it is even working, ketamine infusions can often help within hours. Experts believe it affects the level of glutamate, a neurotransmitter found in the brain, and by increasing its production it allows the brain to create new connections and fix damaged ones. These new pathways encourage the development of more positive thoughts and behaviors. One study found that 72% of individuals experienced improvement after 10 infusions while 38% achieved remission.

Treatment protocol

Typically treatment involves a series of treatments that last 45 minutes to an hour. They are spread out over a period of several weeks with follow-up booster infusions as needed. 

During treatment, people are encouraged to relax and use an eye mask if they wish. Listening to calming music can also be helpful. Individual responses vary, but some people may feel a floating sensation. Any side effects usually subside within 15 to 30 minutes.

If you still struggle with major depression even after trying multiple antidepressant medications and other treatments, ketamine infusions may be able to help. To learn more, call us at 480-509-7738 or click to book online.