Myths and Facts about Ketamine for Depression

If you’ve been in therapy or you’ve tried one medication after another, but your depression isn’t getting any better, you’re not alone. Each year, nearly 14 million Americans struggle with symptoms of depression. The World Health Organization recently declared that depression is the No, 1 cause of disability. Of those who seek treatment, nearly 40% never improve or get relief from their severe or chronic depression. If that describes your battle with depression, you may be a candidate for ketamine infusions.

What is ketamine? 

Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that’s been around since the 1960s, when it was used on soldiers in the Vietnam War. Here at The Painless Center, Jason Chiu, MD, uses it to help alleviate depression. Though the proof is evident when it’s used as a painkiller, there are still a lot of myths and facts about ketamine use for depression. Let’s look into a few of them.

Myth:
Ketamine is great for anyone who feels a little down from time to time.

Fact:
Dr. Chiu only prescribes ketamine if you have severe treatment-resistant depression that doesn’t respond to typical antidepressant medication, therapy, or other interventions. It’s especially helpful for anyone who has despair or frequent suicidal thoughts.

Myth:
Ketamine has no side effects.

Fact:
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug and comes with all the symptoms and warnings that accompany controlled substances. Some of the main ones are:

In extreme cases, severe side effects include:

However, in a controlled environment under Dr. Chiu’s supervision, you should experience mild and minimal symptoms. These side effects are also a reason why you should have a friend or family member drive you home from our office after ketamine treatments.

Myth:
Ketamine is a street drug and it’s highly addictive.

Fact:
Ketamine has been cleared by the FDA for use by doctors for legitimate medical needs. In large doses, it’s used as anesthetic. In smaller doses, it’s used to treat pain and depression. Though improper use and dosage can lead to addiction, in our clinic, ketamine is administered in small, fast-acting quantities for clinical purposes. 

Here’s another fact: If ketamine is right for you, you’ll get fast relief from long-lasting depression that’s been unresponsive to other treatments. Here at The Painless Center, we’ve seen it change lives and set many people free from severe, debilitating depression. 

To learn more about this breakthrough therapy, or to schedule a consultation, call our office or book online.

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