Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a first-line antidepressant drug. They increase serotonin levels by stopping neurons from reabsorbing serotonin. Unfortunately, not everyone responds the same to medications and can experience side effects. The good news is, SSRIs are just one option for treating depression.
If you’re looking for alternative therapy, we offer ketamine therapy here at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. In this article, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Hadi Estakhri discusses what ketamine therapy is and who is eligible for this alternative therapy.
What is ketamine therapy?
Ketamine, which was initially used as an anesthetic, is now used in treating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ketamine therapy is administered as an intravenous infusion. Dr. Hadi Estakhri also offers Spravato™, which is an FDA-cleared nasal spray.
Regardless of whether you have the IV or the spray, ketamine therapy works by stimulating a different part of your brain. You’ll relax and receive your therapy in a comfortable, private room. After two hours, a friend or family member can drive you home, as you still might feel sleepy. Side effects are temporary, and most people wake up the following morning feeling refreshed — and with a noticeable improvement in mood.
Are you eligible for ketamine therapy?
Maybe you have treatment-resistant depression, and you’re wondering if ketamine therapy is the answer you’ve been looking for. Before recommending any treatment, including ketamine therapy, Dr. Estakhri provides a thorough examination to ensure ketamine therapy is right for you. You may be eligible for this therapy if:
- You’ve already tried different medication combinations or dosages without any relief in your symptoms.
- You’ve tried other therapies, including TMS
- You haven’t responded fully to a group or individual CBT or therapy
- You don’t have any of the contraindications (listed in the next section)
IV ketamine therapy isn’t used as a first-line defense against depression, but for those who try it, it may bring you the relief you deserve.
When to consider other treatments instead
According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, individuals may not be eligible for ketamine therapy if they:
- Are pregnant
- Have uncontrolled hypertension
- Have acute cardiovascular disease
- Had a previous negative response to ketamine therapy
- Have a history of psychosis, substance abuse, or increased intracranial pressure
Because ketamine therapy isn’t the right treatment for everyone, Dr. Estakhri can suggest other therapies.
Is ketamine therapy right for you?
If you’re struggling to manage your depression symptoms, we’re here to help you on your path to recovery. You can reach our Newport Beach, California office at 949-258-7135 or by visiting our website.