Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Ketamine has long been used as an anesthetic, but new research has demonstrated that this medication is promising in the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidality and addiction.(drug and alcohol abuse). This medication acts on NMDA receptors in the central nervous system and has powerful anti-depressant effects that take effect very quickly. This is exciting news since existing pharmaceutical interventions take weeks to months to take effect in most individuals. The possible mechanisms for how Ketamine is able to illicit this response include increasing neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, decreasing inflammatory pathways, blocking reconsolidation of drug-related memories and other neural networks and directly treating depressive symptoms.
Most research uses Racemic ketamine, which is most often given as an IV infusion into the bloodstream. This is sometimes called intravenous, or IV, ketamine. It is a mixture of two mirror-image molecules: “R” and “S” ketamine. While it was approved decades ago as an anesthetic by the FDA, it is used off-label to treat depression. Usually response time for most individuals is after 1-3 infusions. This is why we have adopted this intervention as part of our IV offerings at LP Wellness and Aesthetics.
We have many patients who also seek out this treatment for targeting addiction. This is because Ketamine has been shown to effectively prolong abstinence from alcohol and heroin in detoxified alcoholics and heroin dependent individuals, respectively. Moreover, ketamine reduced craving for and self-administration of cocaine in non-treatment seeking cocaine users.