Low Dose Ketamine Infusion in Altoona, PA
Ketamine is a helpful drug and general anesthetic that found its way into popular culture. First designed as a veterinary tranquilizer, ketamine fell into the wrong hands, picking up the moniker “special K” as a party drug. Today however, low dose ketamine has been found to be an effective treatment for resistant depression, chronic and short-term pain and even addiction in some respects.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a non-opioid painkiller. Opioid painkillers such as morphine can be addictive and cause long-term side-effects. As addictive substances, many people also develop a tolerance to opioid painkillers. With a tolerance standing in the way of pain relief, there is a need for ever increasing doses of opioid painkillers. To get around this issue, ketamine has been tested alongside these more conventional drugs for acute (severe) pain relief.
Ketamine in low doses, hence the name “low dose ketamine,” has been shown to increase the efficiency of opioid painkillers, reducing the need for higher doses. It has also been shown to reduce pain consistently and at greater levels than opioid painkillers alone.
Ketamine Depression Treatment
While ketamine has been used for over three decades to reduce pain, its most surprising use to date has been in the treatment of depression. For those who have severe, anti-depressant and treatment-resistant cases of depression, ketamine therapy has proven a promising and effective treatment.
What makes a ketamine infusion treatment so unique in treating depression is the speed at which it functions. Typical antidepressant medications can take as long as two months to take effect, and after that, the dose may still need adjustment. Traditional antidepressant medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) require a long tailoring process, fine-tuning the dose to each and every patient.
Ketamine, on the other hand, is fast acting, with full effects being observed—and felt—in about two hours. As an NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist, ketamine acts on the function of the frontal cortices.
In a study conducted by Dr. James Murrough M.D, the effects proved very promising for the continued long-term use of ketamine in treating those with stubborn cases of major depressive disorder. Another study at Yale School of Medicine found that in patients expressing suicidal thoughts due to severe depression; one injected dose of Ketamine completely alleviated the suicidal ideation in under an hour (with repeated results for 13 other patients).
Future of Ketamine
While not an official treatment at this current time, researchers are looking into the application of low dose ketamine as a commercially available treatment for depression and chronic pain. The issue with ketamine is that it is typically administered via intravenous injection (IV), making it hard to justify as a long-term treatment option, especially when alternative medications are available in pill form. The current thinking is that packaging and the administration of low dose ketamine can be accomplished by a patch on the skin similar to low dose estrogen birth control, or as a nasal spray bypassing the blood-brain barrier.
Either way, low dose ketamine represents the possible future of both pain and depression treatment. If successfully applied, the lives saved by these new uses of “Special K” will go a long way to restoring the credibility of this drug.
Request more information about low dose ketamine infusion today. Call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Emma McGowan online.
Medical Wellness Associates
Jeannette, PA 15644
8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm