Between 15-20 million Americans are diagnosed with depression every year and approximately 30% of them don’t respond to standard treatment methods. The doctors at South Texas Mental Health Associates in Corpus Christi, Texas, are committed to providing the best possible care and offer ketamine therapy when your condition doesn’t respond to traditional treatments. Call to schedule a consultation today to get personalized attention and treatments customized to meet your needs.
Ketamine was originally used as an anesthetic and pain reliever during the Vietnam War. It also has a reputation as a “club” drug. However, it’s also proving to be an effective alternative to traditional antidepressants and helpful for people who have treatment-refractory — resistant — depression.
When ketamine is administered in small and controlled doses, it can ease depression symptoms rapidly. It’s important to note that using ketamine as an antidepressant is an “off-label” use. This means that the FDA hasn’t approved ketamine for this purpose.
“Off-label” use is a common practice. Many drugs prescribed today came into use for entirely different purposes, and over time, medical professionals and researchers found additional clinical applications. For example, Prazosin was originally approved to treat high blood pressure in the 1970s. However, today it’s commonly used to reduce nightmares in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ketamine works differently from other antidepressant medications. It increases the activity of glutamate, a neurotransmitter found in the frontal cortex of your brain. At the same time, ketamine stimulates the growth of new synapses.
Most antidepressants affect your serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline levels. They increase serotonin activity in several parts of your brain which ultimately affects your glutamate.
The doctors at South Texas Mental Health Associates carefully monitor ketamine therapy to ensure your health and well-being. They usually provide ketamine injections on a weekly or biweekly basis, and you have frequent appointments so your doctor can monitor your depression symptoms and check for any side effects.
If you’ve been having depression treatment for some time and haven’t responded to at least two other forms of antidepressants, you should talk to your doctor about ketamine therapy. Clinically, nonresponsive means that your mood hasn’t improved and your other depression symptoms have not reduced with treatment.
The doctors and staff at South Texas Mental Health Associates are committed to helping you overcome your depression. They understand that your experience is unique and will work with you to find the best possible treatment plan to improve your mental health so you can lead a healthy and active life.
Call to schedule a consultation today to learn more about your treatment options for depression.