Here’s What to Know About Ketamine for Depression

Here’s What to Know About Ketamine for Depression

By KCLA | December 14th, 2022 |

If you’re thinking about trying ketamine for depression, learning more about how it works and what you can expect from the process might be helpful. 

In both clinical studies and real-world applications, there has been remarkable success using ketamine for the treatment of depression, particularly depression resistant to other, more traditional types of treatment. Unlike prescription anti-depressants, ketamine works quickly and without the troubling side effects that can come from the chronic use of medication. 

Keep reading to learn more about ketamine treatment for depression and why it might be just the thing to provide you with lasting relief from depressive symptoms. 

Ketamine as an Alternative Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression

While many people respond well to traditional treatments for depression, many do not. For the latter group, issues like efficacy or side effects of medications may inhibit them from getting the relief they’re looking for – a scenario often referred to as treatment-resistant depression. 

At Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles, we have years of experience treating patients who struggle to find relief with traditional depression treatment methods, with more than 80% of our patients benefiting from ketamine therapy. Not only that but results are usually experienced in as little as four hours, with no known long-term side effects. 

The reason that ketamine therapy is so effective at treating depression comes down to how it works in the brain. Most notably, slow and controlled ketamine infusions cause physical growth in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, repairing damaged cells and helping form new connections between neurons. This includes neurons like glutamate, which in turn trigger neural changes that help improve mood and sleep functions, among other things. 

As an alternative to infusion therapy, some patients are curious about Spravato, or Esketamine, the first FDA-approved nasal spray for depression. However, it can take up to 16 weeks before results are experienced and can pose some additional risks, so it may not be ideal for everyone. 

Side effects of ketamine treatment are generally mild and short-lived, and may include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Elevated blood pressure

Because ketamine infusion therapy is given in a clinical setting, you will have medical oversight during each treatment so that any symptoms can be addressed right away. Note that ketamine therapy is well-researched and very safe, and there is minimal risk of becoming addicted when used in a clinical setting. Additionally, ketamine does not cause any physical dependency and is not physically addictive. 

How Long Does Ketamine Take to Work for Depression?

Many patients report feeling immediate or near-immediate relief from their depressive symptoms with ketamine. Patients who try ketamine for depression typically see results between hours and days after treatment – or usually no later than the day after their third infusion.This is one of the primary differences between ketamine and traditional depression treatments since medications can take weeks or months to take effect. 

For some, ketamine infusions enhance the impact they receive from antidepressant medications. In those cases, ketamine helps “speed up” the time it takes to feel balanced, and that balance tends to be easier to maintain with additional ketamine treatments given on an as-needed basis. 

We encourage most patients to continue with talk therapy following treatment with ketamine. Other healthy lifestyle choices like exercising, meditation, stress management, and a balanced diet can also go a long way toward keeping depressive symptoms at bay. 

Get Effective Depression Treatment in Los Angeles at KCLA

Ketamine has been a successful treatment option for countless patients who have failed to find relief with traditional treatment methods for depression. If you’re struggling to manage depressive symptoms, we encourage you to learn more about ketamine as a potential treatment option and to visit with our team for a free and confidential consultation. 

At Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles, we offer several alternative treatment options for individuals who are suffering from depression and/or other mood disorders, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation, and more. This includes ketamine infusion therapy, as well as Esketamine (Spravato) treatment, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Medication Management. We would be happy to work with you to personalize your ideal treatment plan and help you along the path to health and wellness.  

No referral or prescription is necessary to schedule an appointment at KCLA. However, we do require a conversation with a clinician who is or has recently been responsible for managing your condition. Let us know if you have additional questions about this requirement or if you would like to speak with our staff psychiatrist. 

Ready to feel like yourself again? Call us at 310-270-0625 or visit our contact page to get in touch and learn firsthand what ketamine infusion therapy can do for your treatment-resistant depression.