What is Ketamine? A New Era in Mental Health

What is Ketamine?  A New Era in Mental Health
What is Ketamine?

There is a little known fact that Ketamine has a long history in the mental health field that dates back 50 years. In the 1960’s, the FDA approved ketamine as a dissociative anesthetic. In simple terms, that means it allows a person to become detached from their environment. Allowing distortion of sights and sounds.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is in the category of dissociative drugs. It is that property of ketamine anesthesia that led researchers in the mental health field to explore how this medication could benefit patients with mental health disorders. Researchers in psychotherapy and psychiatry also became interested. Ketamine treatment is widely used in health care settings outside the US .

In the early years, researchers discovered that is caused complete sensory detachment. The results are positive when ketamine was used in conjunction with psychiatry and talk therapy.

It was often used as a medication to help a patient explore their ego/self . During a transpersonal psychology session, a therapist helped the patient achieve almost complete sensory detachment with ketamine in clinical settings.

The success rates of ketamine in various arenas of medicine are well documented. Ketamine was used in conjunction with other substances, herbs or synthetic combinations for its hallucinogenic properties.

It was at the turn of the 20th century that research and use of ketamine in the psychiatry field became common.

There were many studies done exploring the benefit of ketamine:

  1. Depression
  2. Pain Relief
  3. Mood disorders

The evolution of ketamine has resulted in this medication used in a wide variety of conditions.

The Ketamine Story

Doses Of Ketamine for Treatment Resisitant Depression

Ketamine hydrochloride, commonly known as ketamine, is a dissociative anesthetic that was originally developed in the 1960s as an alternative to PCP (phencyclidine). It works by temporarily reducing activity of certain parts of the brain, and has been found to be more reliable than other forms of general anesthetics. Unlike most anesthetics, it does not reduce blood pressure or cause respiratory depression, so can be used safely, even in elderly patients.

As general anesthesia, the effects of ketamine produces a rapid onset of unconsciousness allowing for brief procedures such as intubation or bronchoscopy without the need for a paralytic agent. Additionally, ketamine is the ideal surgical anesthesia for acute pain management as it works quickly. It has fewer side effects than other anesthetics.

Ketamine also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in acute pain states. Additionally, ketamine is less likely to induce respiratory depression and so can be used safely even in patients with underlying respiratory conditions.

Overall, ketamine hydrochloride is an effective anesthetic and acute pain reliever due to its rapid onset of unconsciousness, anti-inflammatory properties, and low potential for inducing respiratory depression. It provides a safe alternative to traditional general anesthetics while still providing effective acute relief from pain.

Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs

Ketamine is also used in veterinary medicine as a horse tranquilizer, and when altered is used as a one of a variety of club drugs. It was in the 70's, abuse ketamine as a club drug started . Young adults called it the 'love drug' because of its hallucinogenic properties and dissociative effects. Known as Special K other names include K, Vitamin K and Ket.

Ketamine is not just used in medical settings; it has also been abused as a recreational drug and even used as an illegal date rape drug. When used in high doses, the adverse effects of ketamine can cause hallucinations, disorientation and other acute mental health effects. Due to its rapid onset of action (5-15 minutes) and relatively long half-life, ketamine is highly dangerous when used for malicious purposes such as date rape. As a result, ketamine should be avoided in any form except under the guidance of a licensed medical professional.

How Does Ketamine Work?

Ketamine a Controlled Substances 

Ketamine acts on the central nervous system by blocking NMDA receptors and stimulating the release of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines BDNF as a neuropeptide that regulates the growth, survival, and differentiation of neurons and that affects synaptic plasticity especially by mediating long-term potentiation. Simply put, brain derived neurotrophic factor is a protein that acts on the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system to support and encourage growth of new neurons and synapses.

The effects of ketamine have been found to activate glutamate receptors, stimulate the release of BDNF, which helps to repair damaged neurons in the brain, and enhance neuroplasticity by allowing for new connections between neurons.

This can help to repair damaged neurons in the brain, reducing symptoms associated with acute and chronic neurological conditions. Ketamines effects on the central nervous system may also help to reduce anxiety and improve mood, though more research is needed in this area..

NMDA is a receptor antagonist, which blocks glutamate from binding to NMDA receptors and thus impairs glutamate signaling. At the same time, ketamine also inhibits GABA release and reduces GABA A receptor-mediated synaptic transmission.

As a result, glutamate transmission is increased and GABA transmission is decreased, leading to an overall increase in glutamate activity and decrease in GABA activity. This effect can have various implications for neurological conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD, as well as acute pain management. Thus it is important for medical professionals to monitor patients closely when administering ketamine.

Ketamine is known to cause a decrease in cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), which can lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen levels to the brain. This effect is likely due to its sedative properties, as ketamine increases glutamate activity while decreasing GABA activity.

Ketamine's Affect on Blood Pressure

Pelayanan Posbindu di desa Wlahar Kecamatan Wangon dengan pemeriksaan Tensi (20/5-2021)
Ketamine General Anesthesia Affects Blood Pressure

Ketamine can have an effect on blood pressure, both increasing and decreasing it. In some cases, ketamine can cause increases in systolic blood pressure, due to its effects on glutamate receptors. At the same time, ketamine can also cause decreases in blood pressure, particularly in higher doses. This is likely due to its sedative properties and is why medical professionals must monitor patients closely when administering ketamine. It is important to note that this effect can be further compounded for elderly patients or those with existing cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure. Thus extra caution should be taken when administering ketamine to these populations.

Ketamine in The Emergency Department

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Use of Ketamine in the Emergency Room 

Ketamine is often used in the emergency department for acute severe pain relief, sedation and anesthesia. Its rapid onset, strong analgesic effect and minimal side effects make it an ideal choice for treating pain or providing sedation in cases of trauma or medical emergencies. It can also be used to provide general anesthesia for more invasive procedures.

It is the neurobiological benefits that may be beneficial for some neurological conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. If fact, it was in this setting that ketamine was found to be effective in treating acute suicidal ideation.

How is The Use of Ketamine Impacting Mental Health Treatment?

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Ketamine Antidepressant Effects

Ketamine has been found to have antidepressant effects in treatment-resistant depression. Its action as an NMDA receptor antagonist leads to a decrease in glutamate transmission and increase in GABA transmission, which can reduce symptoms of depression. It also triggers the release of endorphins that promote feelings of pleasure and relaxation.

Traditional oral antidepressant s, such as Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro, are effective treatment options for depression. However, these medications can take up to four weeks or longer before they start working. Also, many depressed patients do not respond to them and must try several other drugs before finding one that works. Many times doctors will prescribe other drugs to enhance the effects of anti depressant drugs. Even with these added medications, many are never relieved from the symptoms of major depression or other mood disorders.

Ketamine and Treatment Resistant Depression

Ketamine a Classification of Dissociative Drugs

Ketamine is increasingly being used to treat treatment resistant depression. Studies have shown that ketamine may be effective in treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Ketamine works differently than other antidepressants by targeting glutamate activity while reducing GABA activity, rather than neurotransmitter reuptake. Additionally, the effects of ketamine have been found to be much faster than traditional antidepressant drugs, often providing relief within hours rather than weeks or months.

Yes, ketamine produces feelings of sedation and dissociation. This is because ketamine produces a rapid onset of action that produces an altered state characterized by decreased awareness of one's environment, as well as a sense of being disconnected from the physical body. Ketamine also alters perception and can cause intense visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations which may last for several hours. It is important to note that the dissociative effects produced by ketamine can be overwhelming to some people, so medical professionals should monitor patients closely during treatment to ensure safety.

What Does It Feel Like During a Treatment

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Ketamine Infusions Bring a Dream Like State

Ketamine produces feelings of muscle relaxation, sensory alteration and dream-like states. In the human neuroscience field it has shown promise in helping to understand psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD).

It produces psychoactive effects that are distinct from other drugs, such as psychedelic hallucinations and dissociative experiences.

Taking ketamine helps with controlling symptoms  of depression, resetting your brain. Ketamine therapy is a safe, effective form of treatment that has been studied extensively and has shown promising results for people with depression. Through ketamine infusions, the effects of depression can be reduced or even reversed in some patients. The exact mechanism behind how ketamine works to reduce symptoms of depression is still being studied but research suggests ketamine can help reset your brain and alter the chemical balance in the brain that causes depression.

Routes of Administration of Ketamine

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Routes of Administration 

Ketamine can be taken orally or intravenous injection, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously. When taken at higher doses it produces a dissociative state that distorts reality and alters perception of time and body awareness. At low doses it produces milder effects including sedation, analgesia, and increased sociability. Depending on the dosage, effects can last anywhere from minutes to hours.

Pros and Cons Ketamine Nasal Spray, Esketamine

This 2009 image depicts a healthcare practitioner as she was administering the H1N1 live attenuated intranasal vaccine (LAIV) to an Asian woman. Using a small syringe, she was delivering the vaccine mist into the woman’s left nostril. Photographer Jame Gathany
Esketamine Nasal Spray

Ketamine nasal spray is a relatively new form of ketamine therapy that has been developed to provide an alternative to intravenous ketamine infusions. The nasal spray has been developed by Johnson and Johnson, and is sold under the name of Spravato.

Nasal spray ketamine is administered as an atomized mist, which can be inhaled or sprayed into the nose. This form of ketamine therapy requires fewer visits to the doctor and can offer quick relief from depressive symptoms. It has been found to be safe and effective and may even work faster than ketamine infusions in some cases.

The rate of absorption for nasal spray will vary depending on the patient. Nasal congestion, allergies, or other conditions can affect the absorption rate. This is a problem , as you never know what dosage you are receiving and consistency is important for good results.

Things that will interfere with the absorption of ketamine are alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Therefore it is important to abstain from these substances when undergoing ketamine therapy.

If you experience adverse effects from nasal ketamine therapy, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. You may need to adjust the dosage or switch to ketamine infusions in order to get the best results.

Pros and Cons Of Oral Ketamine

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Oral Ketamine 

Oral Ketamine is a medication used to treat various mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. It has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its fast-acting effects and the fact that it does not come with the same risk of addiction as other drugs. However, like all medications, there are both pros and cons associated with oral ketamine use. Pros: - Oral Ketamine can provide quick relief from depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms. The effects may be felt within minutes of taking the drug, which is much faster than many traditional antidepressant medications. - Ketamine also has fewer side effects than other medications used to treat mental health conditions, making it safer for long-term use.

Oral ketamine Versus Intravenous Ketamine

Oral Ketamine is typically taken in the form of a pill or solution, while intravenous ketamine is injected directly into the bloodstream. - Oral Ketamine has a slower onset time than IV Ketamine, meaning it may take longer to feel the effects. However, this also means that oral Ketamine may be better tolerated and have fewer side effects than IV Ketamine.

The Cons of Taking Oral Ketamine

Oral Ketamine can cause nausea and vomiting if not taken properly. This can be minimized by taking the medication with food and/or staying hydrated throughout the day. Ketamine may cause dissociative symptoms such as feeling disconnected from reality or confusion. Therefore, caution should be used when operating machinery or engaging in activities that require concentration after taking Ketamine.

Ketamine can have significant effects on the cardiovascular system, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure. If you have any pre-existing heart conditions, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking Ketamine.

Ultimately, oral ketamine is an effective treatment for various mental health conditions when used properly and as prescribed by a medical professional. While there are potential side effects associated with its use, these can usually be managed or minimized with proper dosing and regular monitoring from a healthcare provider. If you think Ketamine may be right for you, talk to your doctor today to find out more information.

Pros and Cons of Ketamine Intramuscular Injection

This 2006 image depicted a nurse, who was administering an intramuscular vaccination into a middle-aged man’s left shoulder muscle. The nurse was using her left hand to stabilize the injection site.
Ketamine Intramuscular Injection

Intramuscular ketamine is a relatively new form of ketamine therapy that has been used to help those struggling with depression. It is administered as an injection into the patient’s muscle and works by resetting the brain pathways associated with depressive thoughts and behaviors. While ketamine for depression can be incredibly helpful for some people, it does come with certain risks and potential side effects.

The pros of intramuscular ketamine include its fast-acting nature; patients typically feel relief from their symptoms within hours or days. Additionally, ketamine does not have the same long-term risks as many other forms of antidepressant medication such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, liver injury issues and more.

However, there are some cons to ketamine therapy for depression. The most common side effects are dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and hallucinations. Additionally, ketamine has the potential to be abused recreationally and can be addictive, so it is important to discuss this possibility with your healthcare provider before beginning ketamine treatment.

If you are considering intramuscular ketamine as a form of depression therapy, it is important to discuss all of the pros and cons with your doctor. They will be able to help you decide if ketamine is right for you and monitor its effectiveness over time. With careful monitoring and consideration of potential risks, intramuscular ketamine may provide a viable option for those struggling with depressive symptoms.

Pros and Cons of IV Ketamine

Intravenous Ketamine Therapy 

The pros of intravenous ketamine include its ability to work quickly and effectively in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Dosages are managed depending on the patients response.

If a patient experiences side effects during an infusion , the dosage can be adjusted accordingly. Other methods of administration do not have the ability to adjust the dosage or respond with medications that would alleviate adverse reactions such as nausea.

Ketamine infusion therapy is administered by a skilled medical professional in a clinical setting, where the patient’s response to the ketamine can be monitored closely.

The effects can be felt within hours after administration and last anywhere from four days to two weeks. It also appears to have fewer side effects compared to traditional antidepressant medications. Additionally, ketamine infusions can produce significant and long-lasting improvements in symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, suicidal ideation, and general depression.

Side effects of Ketamine

Side Effects Of Ketamine

While it produces a wide range of effects, ketamine should always be used with caution and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

It is also important to be aware that long-term use of ketamine can cause physical and psychological dependance, as well as other adverse health effects such as impaired motor skills, cognitive deficits, and bladder problems.

With proper medical guidance, ketamine use can provide relief from mental health illnesses like depression or anxiety as well as pain disorders like fibromyalgia. The unique properties of ketamine use make it an important part of human neuroscience and psychiatry research, offering potential insights into the causes of psychiatric illnesses and new treatments.

Ketamine can also lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and headaches. It's important to understand these potential side effects in order to make sure you're safe and comfortable when undergoing ketamine therapy.

Psychological dependance of ketamine is a serious issue and ketamine withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to manage. It is important that ketamine therapy is done responsibly, with the guidance of experts in ketamine treatment.

If you are considering ketamine as a way to reset your brain and overcome depression, make sure to familiarize yourself with the risks associated with ketamine use and understand any potential withdrawal symptoms that may arise.

Ketamine infusions give a patient the ability to take time for self-reflection. It also allows for a better understanding of self and others. Ketamine is changing how the mental health sector treats patients.

What to Look for In a Ketamine Provider

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Ketamine Provider

What to look for in a ketamine provider: When seeking out a Ketamine provider, it is important to look for someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about the drug. They should have an understanding of the potential risks associated with Ketamine use, as well as being familiar with the dosages needed for different effects. The health care professional should also be able to provide advice on how Ketamine can be used safely and appropriately. It is also important to make sure the Ketamine provider you choose is licensed, qualified and certified in Ketamine use. Finally, it is a good idea to discuss any health conditions or medications you are currently taking with your Ketamine provider before using Ketamine.

Ketamine should always be taken with caution, under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Make sure to research Ketamine providers in your area and always look for someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about Ketamine use. By doing so, you can ensure that Ketamine is used safely and appropriately.

If you have any questions or concerns, it is important to discuss them with your Ketamine provider before using Ketamine. Taking Ketamine can be a positive experience but it is important to always be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with its use.

We encourage all mental health patients... to take a multi pronged approach to your treatment plan.

This approach would include:

  • Establishing health and wellness through diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation methods
  • Breathing techniques
  • Along with your talk therapy and counseling.

Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about the potential benefits and risks of ketamine therapy so you can make an informed decision on whether or not it’s right for you. Remember, ketamine should only be used under medical supervision - never attempt self-medication! With the help of professionals, ketamine could be a safe and effective way to reset your brain and overcome depression.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are seeking medical advice, please consult with a qualified doctor or health care professional

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