The Use of Ketamine to Treat Depression

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine, a controlled substance used safely for many years in surgical anesthesia, has recently been shown to quickly relieve depressive mood symptoms, often within hours after it is administered.

While Ketamine is approved for use in Anesthesia, its "off-label" use in Psychiatry has shown to rapidly improve depression without the delay or side effects of anti-depressants, and does not cause weight gain.

Ketamine in psychiatry was named to the Cleveland Clinic's "Top 10 Medical Innovations Most Likely To Be Game Changers for 2017."

W. Cross Dudney, IV, M.D. and Elizabeth Dudney, M.D., Consultant Anesthesiologists

W. Cross Dudney, IV, M.D. and Elizabeth Dudney, M.D., Consultant Anesthesiologists

What is the cost?

Ketamine treatments in our office are $310 each. In most studies, the rapid improvement of a single treatment may last only a few days, so a series of four treatments over several weeks is often suggested. A psychiatric office visit for evaluation is required before starting Ketamine. With doctor approval, you may start Ketamine the same morning as the psychiatric evaluation. A companion or driver to take you home is required. Regular activities can be often resumed in the afternoon.

Sorry, but we do not accept or file any type of insurance.

What are the Side Effects?

Elevated blood pressure and pulse can occur and monitoring is needed. Some clients report a brief few minutes of a floating feeling that quickly resolves. At the dose used, euphoria or hallucinations are not expected. The Ketamine itself is "rapid in, rapid out" and is gone in only a few minutes. The antidepressant effect and mood optimism triggered by Ketamine occurs several hours later that same day, after the drug has been cleared from your system. There are no known long term side-effects with correct Ketamine use. The most severe cases may get an even more robust response using IV drip infusion rather than injection in the arm muscle. However, IV use requires a different level of monitoring.

How do I get started?

Schedule an appointment online or call our office manager, Sherie, at (814) 873-2036 to see if Ketamine is right for you.  Appointments are normally available as soon as the next business day.


References:

Cleveland Clinic Newsletter, Oct. 2016.

Ketamine gains traction as treatment for depression. NPR, Sept 2014.

Role of Ketamine in treatment resistant depression. NeuroPharm, Sept 2014.

Acute antidepressant effects of Intramuscular vs IV Ketamine, Chilukuri, 2014.