Ketamine: A Safe & Effective Treatment

Over the past 20 years and in dozens of studies, ketamine has been shown to produce remarkably fast antidepressant effects. As a result, it has become a life-changing treatment for many suffering from treatment-resistant depression and anxiety.

Ketamine is an FDA approved drug used in hospitals daily. Over the last 50 years, doctors have discovered multiple uses for ketamine in mental health conditions. In fact, the evidence is so strong the American Psychiatric Association put out a statement saying that the antidepressant effects of ketamine are both rapid and robust.

Clinical Research

Anxiety

JOURNAL OF PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS
Abstract:

The unique experience that ketamine facilitates with its biological, experiential, and psychological impacts has been tailored to optimize office-based treatment evolving into a method that we call Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP). This article is the first to explore KAP within an analytical framework examining three distinct practices that use similar methods. Here, we present demographic and outcome data from 235 patients. Our findings suggest that KAP is an effective method for decreasing depression and anxiety in a private practice setting, especially for older patients and those with severe symptom burden.

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Depression

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
Abstract:

Ketamine demonstrated rapid antidepressant effects in an optimized study design, further supporting NMDA receptor modulation as a novel mechanism for accelerated improvement in severe and chronic forms of depression.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Abstract:

Those receiving ketamine (n=8) reported significant improvement in obsessions (measured by OCD-VAS) during the infusion compared with subjects receiving placebo (n=7). One-week post-infusion, 50% of those receiving ketamine (n=8) met criteria for treatment response (≥35% Y-BOCS reduction) vs 0% of those receiving placebo (n=7). Rapid anti-OCD effects from a single intravenous dose of ketamine can persist for at least 1 week in some OCD patients with constant intrusive thoughts.

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Mood Disorders

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Abstract:

According to patients' reports, very low dose sub-lingual (VLDS) ketamine produced rapid, clear and sustained effects, improving mood level and stability, cognition and sleep in 20 patients (77%), with only mild and transient light-headedness as a common side-effect (no euphoria, psychotic or dissociative symptoms). Remission remained in some patients after stopping ketamine.

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PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress)

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
Abstract:

The ketamine group showed a significantly greater improvement in CAPS-5 and MADRS total scores than the midazolam group from baseline to week 2. At week 2, the mean CAPS-5 total score was 11.88 points (SE=3.96) lower in the ketamine group than in the midazolam group (d=1.13, 95% CI=0.36, 1.91). Sixty-seven percent of participants in the ketamine group were treatment responders, compared with 20% in the midazolam group. This randomized controlled trial provides the first evidence of efficacy of repeated ketamine infusions in reducing symptom severity in individuals with chronic PTSD.

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Substance Use Disorders

FRONT PSYCHIATRY
Abstract:

Seven completed studies were identified. Two studies focused on alcohol use disorder, two focused on cocaine use disorder, and three focused on opioid use disorder. Both cocaine studies found improvements in craving, motivation, and decreased cocaine use rates, although studies were limited by small sample sizes, a homogeneous population and short follow-up. Studies of alcohol and opioid use disorders found improvement in abstinence rates in the ketamine group, with significant between-group effects noted for up to two years following a single infusion, although these were not placebo-controlled trials. These results suggest that ketamine may facilitate abstinence across multiple substances of abuse and warrants broader investigation in addiction treatment.

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