Do you nowadays experience anxiety? Approximately 6.8 million people in the United States currently suffer from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In addition, 25% increase in sales of books about anxiety between 2017 and 2018. Together, these figures show that there are remedies and that you are not alone. We’ll talk about how ketamine relieves anxiety, particularly when nothing else appears to help.
What is Ketamine?
Although it was first used as a fast-acting intravenous anaesthetic in 1960s and has been used off-label for the treatment resistant depression since 1990s, ketamine is now primarily known as a street drug with hallucinogenic effects. Ketamine repairs neuron connections and raises glutamate levels in the brain, causing a faster improvement than with antidepressants. This is in contrast to typical depression treatments, which concentrate on raising brain chemicals to enhance the patient’s mood.
Given that both diseases entail anomalies in the glutamate system, depression and anxiety frequently coexist. The efficacy of ketamine and other medications that affect glutamate and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) systems has been extensively studied in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
- A double-blind trial showed that giving PTSD patients ketamine lessens their symptoms’ severity quickly and dramatically.
- In a separate randomised controlled trial (RCT), including 15 OCD patients, it was discovered that some patients with OCD and persistent intrusive thoughts experienced anti-OCD effects with a single intravenous dosage of ketamine that lasted for more than a week.
- Both anxious and non-anxious bipolar depression patients responded significantly to the antidepressant effects of ketamine, according to a study of patients with and without anxiety.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine was first employed as an anaesthetic in 1960s. On the front lines of the Vietnam War, it was also employed. Later, when administered in lesser quantities, doctors in hospitals started utilising it to help with pain relief. In rare cases, ketamine can make sedatives more effective and reduce the amount of pain medication that patients need after surgery.
Ketamine treatment generates a surge in glutamate neurotransmission in the brain, which is likely connected with the antidepressant effects (as well as some of the medication’s side effects).
Research on Ketamine and Anxiety
Patients with treatment-resistant anxiety received weekly doses of ketamine throughout a three-month study. Ketamine treatment was safe and well-tolerated, and most patients reported a noticeable improvement in work and social functioning.
Research demonstrates ketamine’s quick antidepressant action, which explains why it works so well for treating depression. The fast antidepressant benefits of ketamine may represent a significant medical breakthrough in patients with severe, persistent, and treatment-resistant forms of mental illness.
A secondary analysis of data from a recent randomised, active placebo-controlled trial investigation of IV ketamine participants in the study had non-bipolar depression that was resistant to therapy. Their conclusions showed that ketamine had a very positive effect. The results also show how ketamine may be used extensively as a treatment for many types of depression. In contrast to the results of monoaminergic antidepressants.
Another intriguing study on the use of ketamine to treat anxiety patients concentrated on the drug’s impact on brain waves. Twelve patients were involved in this trial, and they were watched as three dose levels were given to them each week. An EEG was used to measure their brain activity, and during the dose, there were obvious alterations in brainwave patterns. There was a discernible decline in the brainwaves, which are important for the mind’s calm. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about fear after the trial. Eight of the twelve individuals said their anxiety levels had changed. Researchers came to the conclusion that ketamine might be the remedy for many people who experience anxiety.
Don’t Expect to see Prescriptions
Ketamine cannot be obtained anywhere without a prescription and must be taken as an outpatient in a clinic. It is typically administered to patients or as a brand-new esketamine clinic nasal spray. It is, nevertheless, closely supervised in every situation. Throughout the course of the patient’s treatment, the dosage, monitoring, and treatment plan are monitored.
How Treatments Assist Patients with Anxiety
Research is still being done to determine whether ketamine can permanently lessen anxiety. Patients, however, laud it for its strength and rapidity. At the moment, ketamine infusion therapy holds great potential for the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. Patients report lessening symptoms and long-lasting relief.
Because it works quickly and has few adverse effects, ketamine therapy can be a good therapeutic choice for those with anxiety. Additionally, patients could discover that ketamine and other antidepressants might complement one another. For instance, it usually takes weeks or months for standard antidepressants to start working. When a patient is waiting for other treatments to become fully effective in their system. Ketamine infusions can offer relief. They are administered until the patient’s symptoms have subsided during short treatment cycles.
Steps to Take to Find the Treatment
The clinic will conduct an examination to decide how to proceed with the ketamine treatment when you phone or obtain a referral. Information gathered for these assessments includes:
- Medical and socioeconomic background.
- The psychological history of your family.
- Any medications you are currently taking or have used in the past for medical conditions.
- Present or former usage of drugs, including alcohol, cigarettes, and other substances.
- Medical background, including any knowledge of anaesthesia.
Following the completion of their assessment, the clinic will decide how to proceed with ketamine treatments and create a customised treatment plan for you.
A medical expert will get in touch with you to arrange the most convenient time for you to visit the clinic. You’ll get the chance to speak with the doctor during your initial visit. Discover how ketamine can lessen your anxiety. Additionally, you’ll discover more about therapy and discover if you qualify. After discussing your medical history, the two of you will come up with a treatment strategy that is unique to you and meets your specific needs. At that point, a series of ketamine infusions will be planned, provided that this is the best course of treatment for you.
How Long Will the Effects of Ketamine Last?
Ketamine infusion therapy has stronger short-term effects than long-term ones. Doctors are most excited about the long-term effects though. The initial effects can be “loopy,” “tingly,” foggy, and strange. The genuine effects, however, can continue for months following a calming session that lasts around an hour. This offers long-lasting relief from persistent symptoms of severe anxiety, sadness, brain fog, and other conditions. However, ketamine is not a “quick fix” medication that will solve mental health issues overnight. It can aid patients in coping and help them feel better now. Additionally, the likelihood of long-lasting healing increases with regular, consistent treatments every few months.
The characteristics of this, or as one emergency room physician refers to it, are “the best drug on earth”. This may make it one of, if not the biggest, medical discoveries for applications in the 21st century that may completely cure neuropathic pain syndromes like migraines, spinal cord injuries, fibromyalgia, depression, suicide rates, asthma, and so much more.
This might be the answer, to mental health difficulties. That is rising to the top of the list of problems that proponents of modern medicine are trying to address.