Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) is one of the most difficult conditions to treat in all of Psychiatry. Characterized by an often-disabling degree of depression that responds poorly to multiple different medication regimens, treatment resistant depression can destroy quality of life and diminish functional capacity for decades at a time in afflicted individuals. Many different treatments have been developed over the years in an attempt to treat this. Most medications and medication combinations have had limited effectiveness overall. Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) frequently has severe side effects such as loss of memory, despite being otherwise effective in many cases. Effective options have been limited, but recent medical developments of using ketamine for depression treatment have offered new hope.
Benefits of Using Ketamine for Depression
Recent clinical trials have demonstrated very encouraging results for the use of Ketamine for depression treatment. The Ketamine infusion, which has been used for many years as a form of anesthesia, has been shown to yield robust and rapid responses for depression when given in lower doses. Ketamine depression protocols have been developed where a specifically calculated amount of ketamine, based on the patient’s body weight, is administered intravenously over a specified period of time to yield an effect. The desired effect is a notable mood lift while still fully awake and alert. The dosing is managed so as to avoid putting the patient to sleep. The mood elevation is notable and may last up to several weeks after even just one administration. Many cases will require a subsequent ketamine infusion with some regularity that may be weekly or monthly. Most ketamine depression cases maintain a very strong clinical response over time.
The notably high effectiveness in treating some of the most treatment resistant depression cases has given Ketamine depression treatment a certain distinction in Psychiatry. Cases that had long been written off as hopeless were turned around within the first 30 minutes of a Ketamine infusion. People who previously could not function have had their lives restored after a series of successful Ketamine depression treatments. Aside from being highly and rapidly effective, Ketamine is well tolerated with minimal to no side effects. A Ketamine infusion for depression is generally affordable and cost-effective.
The Delray Center offers therapeutic Ketamine for depression in clinically appropriate cases. Raul J. Rodriguez M.D., the founder and Medical Director of the Delray Center, is highly experienced in working with the Ketamine infusion in this application. Dr. Rodriguez has safely run several hundred Ketamine depression treatments over the last 5 years with a response rate of over 90%. Most of the few patients who did not respond initially to standard protocol dosing did achieve a response after the dose of the Ketamine infusion was adjusted. Some patients have experienced a response lasting over 6 weeks after a single infusion however many patients receive monthly to weekly infusions to maintain a strong response. Each patient’s infusion regimen is reviewed and regularly adjusted to maintain the best response over time. In many cases the response has been strong enough to achieve actual full remission of depressive symptoms.
Full remission of depressive symptoms is the ultimate goal of treatment at the Delray Center. The Ketamine infusion is but one of many tools available here to achieve this. All patients must first undergo a Psychiatric evaluation, after which treatment recommendations are discussed. A Ketamine infusion may be an appropriate option in treatment resistant cases, with the best results coming as part of a comprehensive approach that includes individual and group psychotherapy, optimized nutrition, and exercise. Many patients who receive Ketamine for depression also elect to participate in the structured Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for Major Depression offered at the Delray Center.