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How Long Does Ketamine Take to Work for Depression

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
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Reading Time: 4 minutes
Ketamine For Depression

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Depression is the number one cause of several mental impairments all over the globe. Around 264 million people suffer from this mental disease worldwide.

There are multiple methods of treating Depression, such as medication, psychological therapy sessions, relaxing exercises like yoga, etc. it depends on the symptoms and psychology of the patients and how they respond to all these treatments. These treatments do not tend to work for everyone in the same way. Some patients do not feel relieved even after taking oral anti-depressants for months or years. This condition is called treatment-resistant Depression.

If you are a patient suffering from Depression and struggling to find relief despite trying all the above options, you must try ketamine IV treatment. Ketamine IV therapy is a good option for TRD patients. This treatment is gaining popularity worldwide due to its whirl-winding results.

What are the most common causes of depression?

Depression is not a simple mental health disorder, it is very complex, and there are multiple reasons for its existence. For some people, it could be due to a traumatic event in their lives, such as the death of a loved one or a bad relationship.

Sometimes, the roots of Depression originate from one family history of this disease, which means if a person has a parent who suffered from Depression, he is more likely to fall prey to this disease than others.

But if we have to name the significant and most common causes of Depression, those could be the following:

  • Physical or mental torture
  • Certain medications, such as nervous stimulants
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Past Trauma
  • Certain illnesses such as CKD, diabetes, or heart diseases
  • Social problems
  • Genetics

Benefits of Ketamine

Ketamine is a big shot these days due to the following reasons.

  • The first thing that makes it exceptional from other depression treatment techniques is its rapid action. While other medications take weeks or even months to deliver the results (which are not always satisfactory), Ketamine helps to subside the depression symptoms in almost no time. If the patient’s signs are mild to moderate, he might feel better after a few hours of his first session. It could take a few days or weeks for the patient to experience significant relief from severe symptoms.
  • The second thing is it sets the patient free of constantly consuming oral medications and keeping track of a strict dose regimen. So, it is a convenient option for non-compliant patients, especially elderly people who forget to take their medicine on time.
  • This is a treatment with almost no side effects. While taking

anti-depressants constantly can sometimes lead to complicated physical or mental side effects such as renal failure or drug dependence.

What to expect after the first session

Before opting for this therapy, one thing must be obvious there is no medicine without its side effects. There is no doubt that Ketamine has relatively fewer side effects than its competitive drugs, and its benefits outweigh its side effects, but still, there could always be an unusual outcome. Therefore the guidelines firmly say that it must be provided under the supervision of an experienced healthcare practitioner at a certified ketamine clinic.

As for the people who are going to try ketamine therapy for the first time, the following things are to be expected after the first drip:

  • You may feel a little dizzy or nauseous after receiving your first

IV ketamine drip. The chances of feeling nauseous are directly related to the potency of the ketamine infusion you have received.

  • You may feel vulnerable or delusional after receiving ketamine infusion. If something like that happens, you should have someone to talk to you about it, such as your therapist or psychologist.
  • You could also experience brain fog or unclear thinking patterns after ketamine infusion. But after a few hours, these effects go away on their own.
  • All of the above effects are temporary and go away after a few hours of the treatment. Then what is left behind to be experienced by the person is a sense of peace and calmness, and that is what all matters!

How effective is Ketamine in treating Depression?

After numerous studies and feedback from the recipients of ketamine infusion treatment, it has been confirmed that this method of treating Depression is significantly more effective than other conventional treatments of Depression, such as SSRIs and other anti-depressants. A person suffering from TRD can be relieved from his symptoms within about 1 hour of getting ketamine treatment for depression.

What is the Recommended Dosage for Ketamine?

First of all, one thing should be obvious the dose given for the treatment of Depression is significantly less than when Ketamine is used as an anesthetic. The recommended dose for Ketamine to treat Depression usually is 0.3mg/kg or 0.4mg/kg only.

How long does Ketamine take to work for Depression:

Ketamine infusion is a fast-acting therapy. It relieves the patient within a few hours of the first session rather than taking weeks or months, as with anti-depressants.

The main target of Ketamine is glutamate receptors. Glutamate is the most crucial neurotransmitter in our brain, and its function is to stimulate/regulate behavior. You can also call it a mood stabilizer. This is the main difference between Ketamine and other anti-depressants because their targets are other less significant neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.

If the patient feels better after his first infusion session or till the third one, he is provided with more ketamine infusions for the next few weeks to get sustainable results. This will help to get prolonged relief from Depression rather than making a rise and fall condition and reduce the chance of symptoms relapse.

There are no specific standard guidelines for repeating these ketamine sessions. Studies suggest going for the eight infusion sessions initially to get through the acute phase, and then the doctor will decide whether to continue by taking off IV dosage slowly or entirely stop the further sessions depending upon the patient’s condition.

Drug-Drug interaction

As we all know, Ketamine acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist. Therefore any drug that somehow affects the NMDA receptor will also disturb the efficacy of Ketamine. A few examples are:

  • Benzodiazepine
  • Lamotrigine
  • Memantine

Bottom line:

At Nepenthe Wellness Center, we put all our efforts into satisfying our customers and helping them return to their everyday lives. If you or any of your loved one is suffering from chronic Depression and you are looking for a certified ketamine treatment clinic to try ketamine therapy, look no further. Contact us for a free consultation to learn everything about our ketamine services and how they can help you to get rid of your Depression.