It is unusual that a medication approved by the FDA over 50 years ago would create new buzz, but that is exactly what has happened with Ketamine. Over the past decade, new and innovative uses of ketamine as a highly effective treatment for depression have received widespread scientific and media attention.  Originally approved for surgical anesthesia(and later abused as a party drug), studies have discovered low dose Ketamine infusions to be extremely effective in conditions such as treatment resistant depression and PTSD. Although there is some controversy surrounding its use and the long-term effects of ketamine for depression, there is no doubt that ketamine has become an invaluable tool for improving the lives of many who have failed other therapies.

As with any new and effective treatment, it can be hard to find reliable information.

Here are 5 important things to know about ketamine for depression:

1. It is not a replacement. Ketamine infusions are meant for those with treatment resistant depression(TRD).  This makes up about 30% of patients being treated for clinical depression.  These patients often struggle with normal functioning in daily life and often have thoughts of self-harm.  Ketamine is not meant for mild sadness or as a first line therapy.

2. There is no quick or simple fix for depression. With ketamine, as many as 65-70% of patients may see a decrease in their depressive symptoms in as little as two hours post-infusion, with relief potentially lasting for months. Patients can only receive infusions at a clinic, under medical supervision. Patients cannot walk in from the street, pay a fee, and receive ketamine infusions.  Credible clinics require a preliminary mental health assessment and a thorough review of medical records prior to approval for treatment.

3. Ketamine is not generally covered by insurance. Because Ketamine is not approved by the FDA as a treatment for depression, most insurances will not cover the treatment. It is not unusual for healthcare professionals to offer ketamine as an “off-label” treatment for depression, but the cost of ketamine can become quite expensive, because of the equipment and personnel needed to perform the series of injections. Some insurance providers will cover the cost of infusions—ask your ketamine clinic about their experience submitting insurance claims. New Horizon Infusion Clinics will provide support in aiding our patients obtain insurance reimbursement.

4. There are other options. Patients seeking Ketamine therapy for depression have typically undergone other depression treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, talk therapy, or electroshock therapy (also known as electroconvulsive therapy). All of these treatments are backed by a substantial amount of scientific research. When these treatments fail, ketamine becomes an option. Ketamine infusions can be used in conjunction with these therapies, as well as with talk-therapy sessions.  Studies support the combination of talk-therapy and Ketamine treatment in many situations.

5. Long-term use. As Ketamine use for these chronic conditions is still a relatively new phenomenon, there are few studies on its long-term use.   The long-term effects of ketamine, ultimately, remain unknown, though the drug has been used since the 1960s with minimal reports of adverse events. This fact, combined with the relatively low doses used in depression treatment, seem to indicate a low risk of long-term side effects.

As one of the leading ketamine clinics in Florida, we have personally seen ketamine for depression help many patients. We have had a first-hand look at the hope it provides those who may have given up on themselves. The results of ketamine for depression are highly effective, rapid, and lasting. Ketamine truly can change lives.

Contact New Horizon Ketamine Clinics

Please contact our Tallahassee, FL ketamine clinic for a free consultation and find out if you are a candidate for ketamine infusions. We look forward to supporting you on your journey to a better quality of life.