A new study reveals that ketamine infusions work like an opioid when treating depression symptoms. Ketamine infusion therapy is becoming an increasingly common alternative treatment for depression, PTSD, and other mental disorders.
Researchers from Stanford University found that ketamine works effectively and quickly by activating the opioid system in the brain. This information is important in understanding the effects of using ketamine to treat disorders like depression. Since ketamine is only FDA approved as an anesthetic, there have not been many studies about how it interacts with the brain despite it becoming a popular treatment alternative in helping depression patients.
Doctors know ketamine works to quickly and effectively relieve depression symptoms, but until now they weren’t sure why. Roughly a third of people with depression have a form known as treatment-resistant depression that does not respond to traditional depression treatment options such as medication and therapy. This is why they use ketamine.
Right now ketamine therapy is only available through private clinics and doctors. Since it’s not FDA approved as a depression treatment, insurance does not cover the costs. The FDA has fast-tracked two medications that act similarly to ketamine, signaling an upcoming change.
This new study provides valuable insight into how ketamine works to alleviate depression symptoms. The study found that when the opioid receptors in the brain are not activated, the antidepressant effects of ketamine don’t provide any relief.
Doctors still have concerns around abuse, addiction, and long-term effects. However, the effects of ketamine therapy are great. More studies are still needed to answer questions about the medication, but the results are promising.
Contact us to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy and how it could help you!
Dr. Rodriguez founded the Delray Center in 2003 and built it on a foundation of core clinical, professional, and ethical principles that are adhered to still to this day. Dr. Rodriguez founded the Delray Center in 2003 and built it on a foundation of core clinical, professional, and ethical principles that are adhered to still to this day.