Ketamine IV Therapy can Improve Quality of Life

March 11, 2022

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the use of Ketamine in the medical field and it seems that over the years it has become a “taboo” subject when mentioned as a form of treatment due to illegal recreational use. It is unfortunate that it has gotten a bad rap, because it is a promising treatment option for many different mental illnesses and chronic pain disorders. Racemic Ketamine Therapy, which is given intravenously (IV), is one of the most effective treatment options for treatment-resistant depression. As the name suggests, treatment-resistant depression is a form of depression that has not shown a positive response to antidepressant medications and/or therapies.

In addition to being a promising treatment for depression, Ketamine IV Therapy is highly effective at treating anxiety disorders, PTSD, chronic physical pain, drug/alcohol addiction, post-partum depression, suicidal ideations, obsessive-compusive disorders (OCD), and bipolar disorders.

How does Ketamine IV Therapy work?

Ketamine has been an FDA-approved anesthetic since the 1970s and has been used for decades for minor procedures requiring conscious sedation because, unlike other anesthetics, it does not slow breathing or heart rate, so patients do not have to be placed on a ventilator. Over the years it has been discovered that, at a lower dose, Ketamine has had profound effects on depression and other mental illnesses. 

The IV treatment causes the patient to experience a dissociative experience, commonly referred to as a “trip”, that usually lasts for about 2 hours. During this time patients experience a sort of “spiritual journey” where they can feel safe and confident in themselves, and feel like the weight of stress is lifted off of them.

During the infusion, Ketamine can produce:

  • Feelings of altered reality
  • Visual and sensory distortions
  • Distorted feelings about one’s body
  • Temporary unusual thoughts or beliefs
  • A sense of bliss or euphoria

Patients receiving this treatment are given a quiet and private room, offered pillows and blankets, and the option to have soothing white noise playing or a set of headphones to help make the experience as comfortable as possible. Before beginning Ketamine IV Therapy, Dr. Tieche and his team of providers work with patients to determine a treatment plan that will work best for them to maximize the beneficial results of this treatment.

How does Ketamine treat mental illnesses?

The results of this therapy are not produced from the dissociative experience itself, the long-term benefits are actually a result of the brain’s reaction to the Ketamine exposure. Ketamine breaks down the current synapses, which are the contact points between brain cells that work together to transport information throughout the brain to influence mood, energy levels, and the production of inflammatory proteins that cause pain and can damage brain cells responsible for mood, memory, and cognitive function. After the current synapses are broken down, Synaptogenesis (the formation of new synapses) takes place, with influence from the Ketamine, to increase the amount of synapses between brain cells and correct which receptors are activated on the synapses.

The correction of receptor activation results in improvements of:

  • Mood
  • Cognition
  • Motivation
  • Daily behavior
  • Reduced inflammation and pain
How does Ketamine influence brain cell communication?

The influence that Ketamine has on Synaptogenesis is aimed at correcting the neurochemical imbalances in the brain that activate the NMDA and AMPA receptors on the newly formed synapses. The neurochemical Glutamate is responsible for activating these receptors and when too many of the NMDA receptors are activated, the imbalance causes Excitotoxicity, which increases the production of inflammatory proteins. In the brain, these proteins attach to brain cells and destroy them, which can result in declined cognitive function and mental illnesses. 

Ketamine helps correct the imbalance of receptor activation by:

  1. Binding to NMDA receptors, preventing Glutamate from binding to and activating them
  2. It also increases the amount of Glutamate available
  3. By reducing the number of NMDA receptors available, the Glutamate is forced to bind with AMPA receptors instead, restoring the balance of activation between these receptors
  4. The activated AMPA receptors influence the release of neurochemicals that are able to communicate information that leads to healthier brain cells and reduces the production of inflammatory proteins
How long does it take before I start feeling the results?

These incredible changes in mood and mental health are often noticed after 1-3 sessions. Usually a treatment plan consists of 6-8 sessions, improving the brain’s ability to lift itself out of the depression and pain more and more after every session. Many patients experience months, even years, of relief after their initial treatment series. Of course, not all patients are the same, so the actual number of treatments required may differ.

Patients have the option to be prescribed Ketamine nasal spray or troches to help maintain the results between treatments. Since the absorption rate of the nasal spray and troches is half that of the IV (which is 100% absorbed by the body since it is delivered directly into the bloodstream) it is safe for daily use to maintain the beneficial effects of the IV treatments without inducing the dissociative “trip”. 

Ketamine IV Therapy has changed so many lives and given people the ability to enjoy daily activities and be present in their loved ones’ lives again. Don’t let depression, anxiety, other types of mental illness, or chronic pain control your life. Take back your freedom and love for life with the help of Ketamine IV Therapy.

Created by: Bailey


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