August 19

Ketamine for Anxiety

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What is ketamine? 

Ketamine for Anxiety 1

Ketamine is an interesting substance that was first used in the medical field as anesthesia in the 1960s. It received widespread use during the Vietnam War before eventually showing promise in other fields. Due to the legal sensitivity of the drug, there’s still a general lack of research regarding its use in treating various mental health conditions. 

Some intriguing studies have highlighted how glutamate – an important neurotransmitter – mediates an individual’s formation of traumatic memories and the reaction to stress. Ketamine has been shown to interact with NMDA receptors to produce anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. This is thought to occur through a variety of complex processes including activation of synaptic plasticity and more. Many research efforts are taking place regarding how treatment of ketamine for anxiety and depression is effective. 

It’s important to remember that ketamine is illegal unless administered and prescribed by a licensed professional. 

Is ketamine therapy effective for anxiety? 

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggested that maintenance ketamine might work as an alternative therapeutic in individuals with treatment-refractory anxiety. During the study, maintenance doses of ketamine were provided to patients weekly over a period of three months. These doses were seen to improve the work and social functioning while also being well-tolerated.

What do experts say about using ketamine for anxiety? 

“Ketamine can play an important role in the treatment of anxiety disorders.” – Prakash Masand adjunct professor at the Academic Medicine Education Institute at Duke-NUS

“Outside of the clinic, ketamine can cause tragedies, but in the right hands, it is a miracle.” – John Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

“In my experience, no advance has matched the discovery that intravenous infusions of ketamine—previously used as an anesthetic agent—can rapidly and dramatically alleviate depression and anxiety conditions.” – Dr. Keith Ablow, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical School

What other conditions is ketamine therapy used to treat? 

  • Ketamine for depression 
  • Ketamine for anxiety 
  • Ketamine for OCD 
  • Ketamine for anxiety disorder 
  • Ketamine for chronic pain 
  • Ketamine assisted therapy or psychotherapy

What are the risks of ketamine treatment for anxiety? 

The use of ketamine for depression and anxiety comes with some potential side effects including: 

  • Lightheadedness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Feelings of dissociation 
  • A sensation of floating 
  • Altered perception 
  • Vomiting or nausea 
  • Headache 
  • Anxiety 

How can I receive ketamine treatment for Anxiety? 

You can receive ketamine treatment for anxiety in two primary ways: at a clinic or at home. 

In clinic ketamine therapy 

In-clinic therapy involving ketamine for anxiety is the most common way to receive this treatment. There are a number of clinics throughout the United States offering ketamine infusion for anxiety. 

At-home ketamine therapy

While still a very new field, there are a small number of providers offering ketamine treatment at home, although this might not be a suitable option for all patients.  

What happens during sessions for ketamine for anxiety? 

While a session involving ketamine infusion for anxiety differs between each provider, there is a general pattern that’s followed by many. Generally, the entire procedure involves a physical exam and monitoring of vital signs followed by an IV infusion and eventually a recuperative period in the end. 

How long is a typical session for IV? 

Again, the actual length of treatment with ketamine for anxiety will vary between each patient, however, a low-dose session can be estimated to last around a few hours

How long is a typical session for intramuscular? 

Intramuscular therapy involving ketamine for anxiety hasn’t been studied as much as IV infusions. For this reason, it’s difficult to give an accurate estimation. 

How long is a typical at-home ketamine therapy session? 

Similar to the issue with intramuscular infusion, there simply aren’t enough providers offering patients at-home treatments of ketamine for anxiety to determine an average length. 

What will I feel during the session? 

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During a ketamine infusion for anxiety, it’s been reported that some patients experience a higher sensitivity to light and sound and a mild dissociation. Some people have also reported having an altered perception of time. These feelings can be tolerated by many without resulting in discomfort. However, if these experiences are causing discomfort, there are many medications with the ability to counteract the negative feelings quickly. 

How much do ketamine infusions cost?

Treatment involving ketamine for anxiety can be between $400 and $800, depending on the provider and the patient’s needs. With the effects of ketamine for anxiety being temporary, individuals might need infusions every few weeks. When receiving bi-weekly treatment, it’s possible for patients to pay around $15,000 for yearly ketamine maintenance for anxiety. 

Am I eligible for insurance coverage? 

Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t offer coverage for patients receiving ketamine for anxiety because it’s considered an “off-label” procedure. 

Does ketamine therapy intervene with my current treatment plan? 

More research needs to be conducted in this area, although ketamine hasn’t been shown to interact with many kinds of medications. You should always consult with your doctor before undergoing any kind of treatment to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your current medications. 

What to look for in a good ketamine provider? 

Experience: As with any medical procedure, it’s a good idea to look for a provider with expertise and experience in the field. 

Professionalism: You want to ensure that the ketamine provider has all of the required legal qualifications and licenses in order to practice. 

Customer Service: Ask to read reviews from or speak directly with previous patients to see what their experience was like. 

I am ready to take the next step, what do I do?

Feel free to fill out the two-minute assessment to get a better idea if ketamine therapy is a good choice for you. Next, you can book a completely free consultation where your questions will be answered. 

For more information about this subject, please refer to the in-depth article about ketamine therapy. 

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

FAQ

Is ketamine effective for anxiety?

According to Dr. Masand, “Ketamine has been studied and shown [to be] effective with an array of anxiety disorders, including SAD, general anxiety disorder (GAD), and PTSD.”

Does ketamine work for anxiety?

Some studies have shown promising results when it comes to using ketamine for anxiety.

Where can I get ketamine infusions for anxiety?

There are many clinics throughout the United States that offer infusions of ketamine for anxiety.

Virtual ketamine therapy

Ketamine therapy in the comfort of your home may be a good option for you. Fill out a 2-minute assessment and request a free consultation now. 

About the author 

Andrey


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