Ketamine: Breakthrough Antidepressant Treatment


We all feel glum or moody from time to time. This does not mean we suffer from depression&mdash it&rsquo s completely normal. But for those of us that do suffer from depression, those feelings never seem to go away. If you&rsquo ve suffered from depression long enough, you probably know the treatment options can oftentimes be severely limited. Close to a third of all depression sufferers see little to no benefit from their current medications. Even though society is beginning to understand depression more and more, sometimes our family and friends just cannot understand why we are in such a mood all the time.

Depression is a serious condition that must be taken seriously and can potentially affect our physical and mental health. Luckily, medical science has made huge advancements in treating the difficult cases of depression that just will not respond to any of the conventional treatments. This is where perhaps the greatest discovery in the treatment of mental health comes in handy. Ketamine infusion therapy has shown itself to be a remarkable, even extraordinary new treatment to tackle the stubborn cases of depression that might be weighing you down.


Even crazier is the way ketamine infusion was discovered: by accident! Mental health treatment had hit a wall in recent years. New drugs just were not being discovered fast enough. Yet researchers, around the start of the decade, by happenstance fell into a new groundbreaking drug to use as an effective antidepressant. Ketamine had been around for decades as it is a prescription medicine typically used in outpatient settings for anesthetic purposes. Discovered to be an antidepressant on no more than the hunch of an ingenious scientist, ketamine began making ripples in psychiatric circles.

In early October 2014, Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), issued a statement claiming, &ldquo ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.&rdquo

With relatively few new drugs brought to market, many patients with refractory or treatment-resistant depression had found themselves without options once medicines like Celexa, Zoloft, and Valium had been exhausted. Ketamine as a breakthrough treatment has begun to become mainstream after being overlooked for some time. In recent studies, even the most difficult cases of chronic depression are finally being treated!

Ketamine, in low-dose IV infusions, demonstratively improves depression symptoms better than typical SSRI&rsquo s in as little as 6-hours (after only a single session!). With repeated sessions, patients who once thought all hope was lost, have found they can finally take control of their lives once again.

Why is such a breakthrough drug only now beginning to glean its way into the spotlight? Using ketamine as an antidepressant is known as &lsquo off-label&rsquo use. Doctors may prescribe any medicine for any reason they see fit&mdash though it takes time for a drug to become known as safe and effective when used for a purpose it was never intended for. Many common medicines are used this way. An example is Inderal, a beta-blocker that can be used for performance anxiety.

As we began to see the benefits patients were receiving with off-label ketamine infusions, the providers at Quad Cities Ketamine Clinic knew we had to bring this revolutionary treatment to our community in the Quad Cities.


Whereas typical antidepressants work to increase the activity levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Ketamine works in a completely alternative manner by blocking the NMDA receptor and increasing the amount of glutamate in the brain. The chemistry can get complicated, so the large takeaway is ketamine works in a completely different manner than typical antidepressants. The unique fashion in which ketamine exerts its effects on the brain is what allows low-dose IV ketamine infusion to be such a safe and effective treatment for major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant mood disorders.

Furthermore, if you feel you are receiving small benefits from your current medications, ketamine therapy is completely safe to use in conjunction with most other prescriptions. Talk to your doctor if you feel ketamine infusion therapy may be right for you. And do not forget to keep practicing those healthy habits. Exercise, a balanced diet, yoga, and stress reduction techniques can all help ketamine therapy work even better for you.


But do not just take our word for it. Top psychiatrists around the country all agree ketamine infusion is a breakthrough treatment patients can begin taking advantage of.

Dr. Meisner MD, from the Harvard School of Medicine states,

&ldquo If a person responds to ketamine, it can rapidly reduce suicidality (life-threatening thoughts and acts) and relieve other serious symptoms of depression. Ketamine also can be effective for treating depression combined with anxiety.&rdquo

Dr. John Krystal MD, chief psychiatrist at Yale Medicine says,

&ldquo With most medications, like valium, the anti-anxiety effect you get only lasts when it is in your system. When the valium goes away, you can get rebound anxiety. When you take ketamine, it triggers reactions in your cortex that enable brain connections to regrow. It&rsquo s the reaction to ketamine, not the presence of ketamine in the body that constitutes its effects.&rdquo

As you can see, some of the best institutions in the country utilize the life-changing effects of ketamine infusion therapy.

Dr. Meisner also noted something very important: ketamine therapy rapidly decreased suicidality. Within hours, terrible thoughts that seem to never go away can disappear in a flash! Such a dramatic response is the first of its kind and has the power to save many lives.

If you or a loved one is suffering unbearable depression or thoughts of suicide, come visit us at Quad Cities Ketamine Clinic and we would love to get you started on a path back to health and happiness.

Author Tara Kinney, CRNA, APRN As a lifelong learner with over 10 years of experience working in the operating room, Ms. Kinney began to develop an appreciation for the many uses of ketamine and its applications in therapy. As an independent practitioner and owner-operator of Advantage Anesthesia, Ms. Kinney oversaw the care of countless surgical patients and developed a love for the state of Iowa and surrounding counties. It was while working and living in Bettendorf, Iowa that Ms. Kinney saw the need of the community for more holistic and comprehensive care of chronic pain and mood disorders. Ms. Kinney then attended the Ketamine Academy and joined the American Society of Ketamine Physicians, Psychotherapists, and Practitioners before opening Quad Cities Ketamine Clinic in February of 2020. In her free time, she is an avid volleyball player and state record skydiver. She has two children, loves to scuba dive and golf in tropical locations, and cares for numerous small animals rescued from the humane society.


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