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  • Writer's pictureJustin Nepa

Different Things to Know About Ketamine for Depression

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

You may have heard of Ketamine as it was previously abused as a club drug. However, it was also once used primarily as an anesthetic in the operation theatres or on battlefields. However, it has become one of the promising treatment options for severe depression in recent years. How can this drug calm your mind? It’s all about how it impacts your brain. According to the latest estimates, 16 million adults in the US suffered from severe depression in a year. Moreover, suicide rates also rose by more than 30%. Due to this, Ketamine came into play as a good thing to prevent suicides. However, scientists are still researching this anesthetic. Let’s discuss different things to know about Ketamine for depression!

1. Ketamine Is Stored For the Worst Cases of Depression

Depression is a common mental health condition in the US. Ketamine is not the primary treatment for depression. Rather, Ketamine focuses on a small group of patients having treatment-resistant or refractory depression, which does not respond to usual therapies like antidepressants and talk therapy. As per an estimate, one-third of depressed people fall into this category and their lives are full of suicidal thoughts and misery.

2. Ketamine Is Not a Simple Solution

At first sight, the news regarding Ketamine’s effects appears highly promising. Research recommends that Ketamine treatment can reduce depression symptoms in several patients within just 2 hours. It may offer relief for as long as 2 weeks. Many patients hope that Ketamine is a magic solution, but it is not easy to take and it’s not an easy fix even if patients respond.

Ketamine is unavailable as a pill. Patients need to visit clinics and go through injected, intravenous therapies that need monitoring and time. This treatment is not the same as normal injections. It gives an immediate anesthetic effect. It makes you slightly dreamy and spacey, but many people tolerate it.

Much disorientation appears within 15 to 30 minutes after therapy, but patients don’t get permission for driving home afterward. They require getting somebody to pick them up, albeit some clinics permit patients for riding home via cabs. Another complication is that Ketamine is not a solo therapy. It needs to be used with complicated routines of other psychiatric drugs that treat anxiety and depression.

3. Other Treatments Are Possibly Better Choices

While Ketamine is a good choice for some patients, some are considered inappropriate because they have not failed other treatments that would be a perfect choice. Alternative therapies incorporate older types of antidepressants, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and Electroconvulsive Therapy. These are basically utilized before Ketamine as there is more clinical proof that supports their efficacy.


These are 3 different things to know about Ketamine for depression. When Ketamine works, patients are not cured immediately. The psychological impacts of depression – loss of jobs, spoiled relationships, isolation – will not get better themselves, with or with no Ketamine. You require a good psychotherapist for resolving the grief of everything you have lost. Ultimately, this medication will not solve that.

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