According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. For many of these individuals, standard treatment options such as antidepressants and therapy are not effective. Fortunately, there are innovative alternatives, including ketamine, an anesthetic drug. In fact, one recent study found that ketamine may help significantly improve symptoms of severe depression. Acute Pain Therapies unpacks the study’s findings in this blog post.
What the Study Found
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looked at the effects of ketamine when administered as a nasal spray. The study found that participants who received twice-weekly ketamine nasal spray treatment in addition to antidepressants showed faster improvement in depression symptoms, including suicidal thoughts, than participants who took antidepressants and a placebo. The study’s findings are particularly noteworthy because while most antidepressants take several weeks to become effective, ketamine was found to significantly improve depression symptoms within the first 24 hours of being administered. It is important to note, however, that no improvement in depression symptoms was found after 25 days of treatment.
While the authors of the study warn that more research is still needed, they suggest the drug could potentially be used as effective rapid treatment for people with severe depression and at imminent risk of suicide, and could help with the initial stages of treatment for depression.
This study is unique because it looks at intranasal ketamine. Acute Pain Therapies works with psychiatrists who believe in intranasal spray as an adjunctive treatment for depression.
Ketamine infusions (rather than nasal spray) as a treatment for depression has been researched much more than has ketamine intranasal spray. A combined approach utilizing both infusions and a nasal spray may be the wave of the future and indeed something that the team at Acute Pain Therapies is exploring with psychiatrists in the community.
Ketamine Treatment with Acute Pain Therapies
At Acute Pain Therapies, our team of professional specialists is able to treat depression using a comprehensive approach that incorporates several treatment methods, including ketamine infusions. Current research into low-dose ketamine infusions suggests that these infusions are safe and can be effective for the treatment of various conditions. We administer ketamine at predictable doses and work closely with other providers and specialists to ensure your complete comfort and, most importantly, your safety. Our team can also administer ketamine infusions to treat chronic pain and post-op recovery pain, and minimize the need for pain medications.
If you suffer from depression, Acute Pain Therapies encourages you to schedule an appointment to learn more about ketamine. Contact our Bellevue office by calling (425) 440-3351 or sending us an email via the contact form on our website.