Ketamine for depression is a hot topic, but depression and mental health disorders are nothing new. The National Institute of Mental Health Disorders estimates that almost 10% of Americans suffer from depression each year. 

While several successful pharmaceutical interventions exist for depression, not all sufferers respond to these options. Approximately 30% of patients do not achieve relief with existing pharmaceutical treatments. 

Ketamine Therapy as a Treatment Option

Fortunately, physicians and researchers are also finding success for patients with ketamine therapy. 

You might have heard of ketamine as a party drug, but it’s also had FDA approval as an anesthetic for over 50 years. Physicians have been developing treatments using sub-anesthetic doses given periodically. Ketamine therapy for depression consists of a treatment plan lasting several weeks or longer. These doses of ketamine are planned alongside talk therapy, meditation, or journaling. 

There are several advantages to modern at-home ketamine treatments. First, the treatments are simple and convenient. You place a lozenge under your tongue for several minutes. As the dose begins to affect your system, you’re settled comfortably in familiar surroundings with music to accompany your journey. At-home ketamine therapy is also more affordable than an in-office treatment regimen. 

Ketamine Therapy to Transition off Antidepressants

Another group that may benefit from ketamine therapy is individuals who are currently on a traditional antidepressant and looking to move away from it. 

There are several reasons a person might consider going off antidepressants. First, if you’re experiencing disruptive side effects to the medication, that may be a strong incentive to quit. Side effects vary but can include:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Sexual dysfunction

Second, if your antidepressant isn’t recommended for use alongside another medication you’ve been prescribed, then you and your doctor might decide to transition away from that drug.  

Lastly, if the antidepressant isn’t working, you’ll want to explore other avenues. Though the medicine might not be alleviating your depression, it’s still exerting an influence on your body chemistry. You shouldn’t quit cold turkey. 

Avoid Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s imperative to check with your physician anytime you want to change, reduce, or eliminate a medication. Your doctor will advise you on medication management and recommend a plan that minimizes the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from antidepressants can result in the following:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stomach cramping
  • Balance disturbances
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Anxiety disturbing dreams
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation 
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Crying spells

Any symptoms typically emerge within two to four days. Note that antidepressant withdrawal can closely resemble depression itself. You’ll want to pay close attention to your symptoms each day and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. 

Coming off an Antidepressant: Ketamine is an Option

As you plan to transition off an antidepressant, you may find that ketamine therapy can be helpful.

Patients opting to try ketamine therapy after quitting an antidepressant can report intriguing results. Patients learn to mentally reframe their reactions to their daily experiences. Other patients report a sharp increase in productivity and focus. Ketamine therapy has enabled patients to return to the pursuit of their long-term education and career goals. 

A qualified practitioner will discuss your experience, prior treatments, and current goals to assess if ketamine is right for you. If so, you’ll receive a treatment plan designed specifically for your needs. 

Are you wondering if ketamine therapy can help ease your depression?

Book a ten-minute consultation to see if this is right for you.