Patients with severe major depressive disorders, including chronic and severe anxiety states, severe bipolar, bipolar depression and postpartum depression would be ideal candidates for Ketamine infusion therapy when other forms of treatment such as medications, inpatient or outpatient therapy, ECT, TMS, etc., have failed to provide relief. In addition, patients with severe depression and who suffer from bouts of suicidal ideations, and who need immediate therapy, will benefit from Ketamine infusion therapy. In other words, patients who appear to suffer from treatment-resistant severe depression are probably ideal candidates for Ketamine infusion therapy.
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug, but in subanesthetic doses. It serves as a glutamate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. When administered in subanesthetic doses, Ketamine provides a fairly dramatic and rapid improvement in severe depression.
Prior to the treatment, the patient is evaluated by the physician and if the patient is deemed to be an appropriate candidate, the procedure is conducted on an outpatient basis. Patients receive an intravenous infusion which contains a calculated dose of Ketamine. The drug is infused over a period of approximately 30-45 minutes. This procedure is conducted in a relaxed setting. During the infusion, the patient may experience minor dissociative symptoms, and if these symptoms are bothersome, the infusion can be discontinued. Patients may feel somewhat lightheaded after the procedure, and it’s recommended an adult drive the patient home following discharge.