We always tell our patients at New Pathways Clinic about the positive outcomes we see using ketamine treatment as an alternative treatment for depression.
But if you don’t want to take our word for it, now you can hear it from the New York Times as well. A November 4, 2021 article refers to ketamine treatment for depression as a “promising mental health treatment” that works especially well as an alternative to antidepressants of the conventional variety.
What The New York Times Said About Ketamine Treatment
The article discusses a number of success stories from people reporting that they experienced “immediate relief” after their IV ketamine treatments for depression, and that they “felt completely normal” the morning after their treatment. It is important to know that most patients don’t feel significant relief from their symptoms until somewhere between their 4th and 6th treatment based on our experience.
The consideration of ketamine as an alternative to antidepressants and talk therapy is highlighted by data showing that interventions are ineffective for 30 percent of those suffering from major depression, and even then, it may take up to two months for people to start showing improvement.
By comparison, receiving a ketamine treatment for depression can show immediate and impactful positive mental health results as soon as the following day. That means patients can get their normal lives back quickly.
The NYT article also references a Stanford University study that showed an “impressive and immediate decrease in symptoms” among patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. That’s in addition to successful trials of patients with bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder, all showing immediate improvement of symptoms after a ketamine infusion IV treatment.
But is Ketamine IV Treatment Safe?
This information is nothing new if you’ve been following us for a while – we know that ketamine treatment for depression works, and we know how ketamine works. But the article also asks an important question: are ketamine IV treatments safe?
Because ketamine is a fairly new treatment for depression, there is less long-term data on its effects, but ketamine has been approved for use in hospitals since 1970. The data we do have shows that the side effects of ketamine treatment are generally mild and rare, and severe side effects appear even less often, and typically only at very high doses.
For this reason, the experts cited in the NYT article caution against using ketamine outside of a “carefully controlled clinical setting” like the one New Pathways Clinic provides. The benefits definitely outweigh the limited side effects, and with proper administration of treatment, the side effects can be managed and minimized.
That’s why self-medication of ketamine outside of clinical oversight is not recommended, and in some cases, not legal. For example, esketamine – the FDA-approved nasal ketamine treatment for depression – must be administered in an approved clinic, and the patient must be monitored for two hours afterwards to ensure absolute safety.
Ketamine is safe and effective when administered responsibly and professionally, and that’s what we’re here for.
What Does This Mean For Me?
The world is taking notice of ketamine as an alternative treatment for depression. The NYT article itself says ketamine’s effectiveness has “surprised and excited researchers who study mood disorders.” You’re going to start hearing about it more and more as the treatment continues to become more well-known and popular.If you’ve been struggling with depression and are looking for answers, the professionals at New Pathways Clinic can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to see if a ketamine treatment is right for you.