Why Patients Are Turning to Ketamine for Mental Health Treatment
By Dr. John Huber • May 17, 2022
While the clinical application of ketamine has gained increasing acceptance among the mental health community and public at large, it still has some ways to go in being recognized for what it truly is: a safe and highly effective therapeutic that can broaden patient access to life-saving mental health care. The use of ketamine in the treatment of mental health conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and mood disorders is referred to as “off label” in the medical and pharmaceutical community. Ultimately, this is just regulatory speak for acknowledging the non-anaesthetic usage of ketamine in the United States.
The Ketamine Boom
Over the past ten years, outpatient ketamine clinics have sprung up in major cities throughout the U.S. offering low dose, therapeutic infusions of ketamine. Depending on several factors, the cost of a single ketamine infusion runs patients somewhere between $400 and $2,000. In March of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved esketamine, a variation of “off label” ketamine that was billed as an antidepressant in the form of a nasal spray. This new product was developed and brought to market by pharmaceutical giant, Janssen, the pharmaceutical wing of the Johnson & Johnson corporation. While there have been challenges associated with this not so new product (price, access, efficacy), the FDA approval of esketamine helped boost the overall profile of ketamine along with high profile editorials from Vice, NPR, Fox, Forbes, and countless other publications.
A Breakthrough in Care
Regardless of the delivery system, ketamine has several advantages over traditional psychotropic medication. The most significant advantage is that it can provide rapid and sustained relief towards the debilitating effects of chronic mental health conditions. Furthermore, ketamine boasts an excellent success rate in treating individuals who have not responded to traditional pharmaceutical and psychiatric interventions, thus establishing itself as a breakthrough therapeutic for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression.
Another advantage of low dose, therapeutic ketamine is that it is immune from contributing to an epidemic of addiction. Ketamine is non-addictive and has allowed thousands of individuals to responsibly wean themselves off of their antidepressant SSRI/SNRI medications in coordination with their primary care physician. Additionally, the use of ketamine does not cause an increase in body weight nor result in a decreased sex drive.
The Proof is in the Data
Data shows that approximately 80% of patients demonstrate significant improvement with ketamine for depression, anxiety, and ptsd. Utilizing ketamine in conjunction with intentioned talk therapies (also known as “integration”) causes success rates to climb even higher. In a controlled environment and under the supervision of a licensed physician, ketamine has been nothing short of a life-saving treatment for some patients. With a drastic reduction in the most severe symptoms, patients can better manage their condition while focusing on healing themselves.
We are on the brink of a psychedelic revolution in mental health care. By harnessing breakthrough, evidence-based psychedelic therapeutics such as ketamine and the latest clinical tools of virtual medicine, TripSitter Clinic empowers our patients to embark on a personalized, physician-directed treatment plan designed to give you the sustained relief you need from debilitating mental health conditions while opening up new pathways to healing.
Explore the mounting body of research about ketamine and always get advice from your physician before beginning any medical treatment.
Ketamine Infusion Costs
Janssen Announces U.S. FDA Approval of SPRAVATO® (esketamine) CIII Nasal Spray to Treat Depressive Symptoms in Adults with Major Depressive Disorder with Acute Suicidal Ideation or Behavior
I Used Ketamine to Treat My DepressionBrent Miles
Ketamine May Relieve Depression By Repairing Damaged Brain CircuitsJon Hamilton
How ketamine is revolutionizing the way we treat depressionKeith Ablow
Ketamine Is The Answer To Depression And Suicide, Says Mike ‘Zappy’ ZapolinBenjamin Adams
Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical TrialAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Safety and efficacy of extended release ketamine tablets in patients with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety: open label pilot studyNational Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Efficacy of ketamine therapy in the treatment of depressionNational Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Ketamine for Social Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover TrialNational Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Ketamine as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder: a reviewNational Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Toward specific ways to combine ketamine and psychotherapy in treating depressionCambridge University Press
Dr. John Huber
Dr. Huber is a mental health professional of over 20 years, as well as a clinical forensic psychologist. He regularly provides analysis to national and local media and has appeared on over three hundred radio shows (NBC Radio, CBS, Fox News Radio) and thirty national television programs (ABC, NBC, Spectrum News). In addition, Dr. Huber is also the host of “Mainstream Mental Health Radio” a nationwide broadcast delivering interviews with today’s top mental health professionals.