Ketamine infusion was once primarily used as a sedative in operating rooms and on battlefields. Recently, the drug is becoming popular as an effective treatment for depression, which is a major cause of disability around the world. In the United States, estimates reveal 16 million Americans suffered from major depression during a year, which is…
What are Nasal Ketamine Treatments?
Nasal ketamine treatments provide an alternative to the more than 16 million people in the United States that are dealing with severe depression because close to a third of them have been unable to get relief from conventional antidepressants and other treatment options. If their depression is left untreated, it can lead to an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse as well as suicidal tendencies.
What are nasal ketamine treatments?
Nasal ketamine treatments are a safe treatment option that is providing hope to the millions of people struggling with depression, especially those who have become resistant to their medication.
How do nasal ketamine treatments work?
For years, research has shown that ketamine has been effective in treating severe cases of depression. Since the drug used to be a party drug with dangerous side effects, the Food and Drug Administration did not approve it for treatment until its effects could be studied. In March, the organization finally approved the use of esketamine, a ketamine based nasal spray, which is a component of ketamine.
The ketamine is administered using a nasal spray, which circulates it in the patient’s blood and enters the brain. This was shown to improve the patient’s mood. Even though the effects of ketamine are known, doctors still do not understand exactly how it works. The most common theory is that the ketamine infusions cause biochemical changes in the brain that help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Another theory is that ketamine treats depression by blocking a neurotransmitter called glutamate from binding to the NMDA receptor and stopping signals from cascading across the brain. Glutamate is a chemical in the brain that brain cells use to send signals to each other. However, high levels of glutamate can cause over-excitement in the brain and damage brain cells.
Are nasal ketamine treatments as effective as IV treatments?
No, due to the addictive nature of the drug and its side effects, the recently approved ketamine nasal spray is not as potent as its IV counterpart, which means that patients are not getting the full effects of the drug. The fact that it has to pass through the nasal cavity before it gets into the bloodstream can also prevent it from being as effective.
Even though the nasal ketamine treatments are not as potent as the IV treatment, the nasal spray was approved to be used only under a restricted distribution system. This means that only people dealing with severe depression, who have not responded to at least two other antidepressant treatments can get the drug. Even when they get the drug, it can only be administered in their doctor’s office and they have to be monitored for several hours after receiving the treatment.
Nasal ketamine treatments offer a more effective alternative to antidepressants, especially for people who suffer from severe depression and have become immune to the antidepressants that they are taking. If you are severely depressed and your medication is no longer effective, ask your psychiatrist if they offer nasal ketamine treatment.
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