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What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a prescription medication that was developed in the 60’s and has been used for years on battlefields, on ambulances, in emergency rooms, and in surgical suites. It is FDA approved for anesthetic use and is currently being used off-label to treat mental health and pain afflictions with much lower dosing.

Ketamine acts as an antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and targets glutamate, which is an excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter.

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●  How does Ketamine relieve depression?

Scientists are still exploring the exact mechanism by which depression is relieved. Research suggests that by blocking the NMDA receptors, ketamine prompts the brain to increase the production of synaptic signaling proteins in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain thought to play a critical role in a person’s ability to regulate his/her mood. Ketamine appears to promote the growth of new synapses in the prefrontal cortex (neuroplasticity), resulting in greater connectivity in the brain. These new neural pathways are thought to be the reason for the rapid anti-depressant and healing effects.

●  Are Ketamine treatments safe?

When ketamine is administered in a controlled medical setting by a properly trained and licensed clinician using established methods, it is very safe. Ketamine is the only anesthetic that does not suppress the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. When used recreationally, or outside of a controlled medical setting, ketamine use can have severe adverse effects.

●  What are the side effects of Ketamine therapy?

Most recent research shows that some possible short-term side effects occasionally include nausea, headache, and dizziness.

●  Is Ketamine effective for chronic pain treatment?

Ketamine has proven itself to be one of the best pain management options currently available. Patients can expect to see a reduction in their pain score after the first infusion. Ketamine is extremely safe, non addictive, and has a very small side effect profile.

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