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Ketamine Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression

April 16, 2024

Does Ketamine Really Work for Treatment Resistant Depression?

The answer is yes—and it is backed by science. At the start of the 21st century, Ketamine was discovered to have potent and rapid antidepressant properties when administered at lower doses than those used in its original function as an anesthetic. In 2019, a study of 235 patients using Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) demonstrated a dramatic reduction in depression and anxiety in study participants. Ketamine is proven to be particularly effective where other treatments have failed, such as in Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) (Field Trip Psychedelic Medicine Whitepaper), and its ability to provide both short-term relief and long-term healing has the power to transform the lives of people living with depression.

How Does Ketamine Help with Treatment Resistant Depression?

Over 50% of people struggling with depression suffer from Treatment Resistant Depression, in which depressive symptoms do not adequately respond to traditional antidepressant therapies. Ketamine is proven to dramatically heal symptoms of depression where other treatments have failed. The regions of your brain are in constant communication, and persistent depression weakens the ability of brain regions to communicate with one another. Ketamine is particularly effective at strengthening connections between brain regions by fostering the growth of neurons, which can transform depressive thoughts by changing the way the brain thinks. Ketamine’s ability to alter neural pathways in the brain is particularly important for patients with Treatment Resistant Depression, who frequently struggle with persistent depressive thoughts. Unlike traditional therapies, Ketamine works toward both short-term relief from depressive symptoms and long-term rebalancing of the brain.

How Long Does Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Take to Work?‍

Because some neural pathways are “rewired” during Ketamine therapy, we often find that the benefits last a lifetime. Studies have consistently demonstrated that even a single dose of Ketamine induces a rapid and sustained antidepressant effect. The first studies of Ketamine’s effectiveness in patients with Treatment Resistant Depression showed a response rate of over 70% within 24 hours after one dose and a reduction in suicidal thoughts in over 50% of patients immediately after dosing. A recent randomized controlled trial found that Ketamine provided a clinically significantly greater reduction in suicidal ideation in depressed patients than traditional medication therapy.

Benefits of Ketamine-Assisted Therapy for Treating Treatment Resistant Depression

Ketamine therapy is very different from traditional methods of approaching depression, and offers a new approach to a depression diagnosis. Traditional medications often prove ineffective in patients with Treatment Resistant Depression, and Ketamine is clinically proven to help reduce depressive symptoms in both the short and long term where other therapies have failed. Some key benefits of Ketamine therapy include:

  • Minimal side effects: Studies have shown that Ketamine therapy typically avoids the side effects of traditional approaches to Treatment Resistant Depression such as anti-anxiety medications and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and recent randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that Ketamine elicits a significantly greater reduction in depressive symptoms than traditional first-line therapies.
  • Long-term healing: Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can bring lifelong positive changes after just a few sessions. In fact, preclinical studies have suggested significant positive long-term effects from short-term Ketamine therapy, including improved cognitive flexibility, memory, and neurochemical balance. Ketamine is not a medication that you take every day, but an experience that can change the way you think. We aim to provide significant and sustained relief rather than a quick pharmaceutical fix.
  • Rapid relief: Ketamine often shows antidepressant effects within a matter of hours, and the benefits are long-lasting. A recent randomized control trial found that a single ketamine infusion significantly reduced depressive symptoms 24 hours after infusion, and the antidepressant effects were still present at the end of the trial two weeks later.

Is Ketamine Therapy Safe?

When used in a supervised setting in appropriate doses, Ketamine therapy is quite safe, and has fewer side effects than traditional treatments for Treatment Resistant Depression. You can be confident that your Ketamine journey will be safe and effective with the support and guidance of our fully trained health professionals. Our health centers are designed to offer you a feeling of safety and comfort, and we have medical protocols in place to ensure your safety throughout your experience with us.

How Do I Start Ketamine-Assisted Therapy for My Treatment Resistant Depression?

Ultimately, it all starts with you. Our treatment programs are designed to help you harness your own ability to heal. This may be difficult because of past experiences or learned patterns, so our team is here to support and guide you, with the medicine as the catalyst that allows you to open yourself and access healing. We believe in empowering you as the agent of healing in your life, and that’s exactly what will happen on your therapeutic journey.

Does Field Trip Health Have a Ketamine Therapy Clinic Near Me?

Field Trip Health has clinics throughout the US and Canada. If you are ready to begin your journey toward healing and build your personalized treatment plan, then give us a call to learn more:

  • 1-888-519-6016 (USA)
  • 1-833-222-0084 (Canada)

Or schedule an appointment online for our team to reach out to you!