Surprising Ways to Address Depression You Haven’t Considered

Typically, your treatment options for depression include a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. While this works for many, some patients have treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Ketamine therapy is a surprising new approach.  

Treatments for clinical depression usually start with a combination of talk therapy and medication. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of drugs that change your brain’s chemistry slightly, ultimately increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. 

A similar but slightly different approach uses serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which also boosts levels of norepinephrine, making these a treatment for anxiety and fibromyalgia as well as depression. 

Sometimes, both of these drug-based therapies fail to produce significant improvements in depression symptoms, creating a condition called treatment-resistant depression (TRD). There are many drug-free alternatives that work for some people but not others, so the search for relief can be discouraging. 

At KETA Medical Center, we offer a surprising new way to address depression that you may not have considered. Ketamine is most often used as an anesthetic that targets the chemistry of depression in a different way than SSRIs and SNRIs. Contact us if you suffer from TRD. We have a new alternative.

 

The chemistry of ketamine

TRD can affect as many as 30% of those suffering from depression. The failure to respond to SSRI and SNRI medications means that almost one-third of depression patients find little relief. Ketamine represents a game-changing approach for TRD since it features a different chemistry to treat depression. 

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a ketamine derivative called esketamine in 2019 as a treatment for TRD. Administered as a nasal spray, esketamine belongs to a drug class called N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blockers. Studies connecting ketamine and its related products as a depression therapy date back to the early 2000s. 

Whether administered as a nasal spray or as an intravenous (IV) infusion, ketamine targets the glutamate system in the brain, the most abundant neurotransmitter that excites brain chemistry. The neurons that inhibit mood function become blocked, resulting in a new way to suppress depression. 

 

Fast results

A characteristic of traditional antidepressants is that results come slowly. Effects appear after about two weeks, but for some patients, these effects could take months if they occur at all. 

Ketamine-based depression treatments produce immediate results. You may feel better before you leave our offices. Patients report dramatic improvements by their third ketamine treatment. 

Ketamine therapy uses low concentrations of the drug when compared with its use as an anesthetic. One of its hallmarks as a surgical anesthetic is the low incidence of side effects. When diluted for use as a depression treatment, ketamine rarely creates any negative reactions, a common problem with SSRIs and SNRIs. 

You can book a consultation by phone or online with any of the three locations of KETA Medical Center to find out more about ketamine therapy for TRD. It may be the surprising answer for your depression. Make an appointment today.