April 1, 2023

Is Ketamine Therapy Safe? What You Need To Know

Are you curious about the potential benefits of ketamine therapy? Are you wary of its safety and side effects? As this alternate form therapeutic treatment rises in popularity, it’s important to have all the facts. Keep reading to learn what ketamine is, how it works, and why it’s becoming a popular treatment to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disease, OCD and more. WellCentric Health in Reno, Nevada is here to help provide a better understanding of how safe ketamine therapy is to help potential patients make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for them.

What is ketamine therapy and how does it work?

Ketamine is a drug that has been used in medicine since the 1970s, primarily as an anesthetic. In recent years, however, its use has shifted to include off-label applications such as treatment for depression and other mental health conditions. Ketamine therapy works by increasing a critical growth factor in the brain called brain derived growth factor.  BDNF induces the very important process of neuroplasticity which is the growth of new nerves and the reorganization of neural circuits. 

What are the benefits of ketamine therapy over traditional antidepressants or therapy methods?

Ketamine therapy has been studied for its potential to help treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and bipolar disorder. Unlike traditional antidepressant medications, which can take several weeks to work, don’t work in many recipients and often have unwanted side effects, ketamine therapy offers faster relief, with some people reporting improvements within hours or days of treatment. Additionally, ketamine does not come with the same debilitating side effects as many traditional antidepressants, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and nausea.

How safe is ketamine therapy, and what are the potential risks associated with it?

Ketamine is considered to be very safe when administered properly by a medical professional. Ketamine is known as a dissociative anesthetic and the dissociation is expected and contributes to the benefits of the therapy.  Risks of ketamine with proper therapeutic administration are negligible. Those with high cardiac risk, or a history of psychosis should notify their physician before undergoing ketamine treatments. It is important to discuss your unique medical conditions with your doctor before starting a course of ketamine therapy.

Who should consider ketamine therapy as an option for treatment, and who should avoid it altogether?

Ketamine therapy is considered to be a safe and effective option for people suffering from severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD. It may also be an appealing option for those struggling with other mental health conditions such as bipolar disease or obsessive compulsive disorder. It is important that anyone considering ketamine therapy consults with a ketamine prescriber who is very familiar with ketamine therapy first, and that they are aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with the drug. 

Are there any long-term side effects associated with ketamine therapy?

Long-term side effects associated with ketamine therapy, as administered for mood disorders, have not yet been revealed, if any. However, it has been clearly established that chronic depression significantly raises the risk of other diseases such a coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Can ketamine therapy be combined with other forms of treatment, such as traditional antidepressants or talk therapy?

Yes, ketamine therapy can be used with other forms of treatment. For instance, if someone is taking an antidepressant and still experiencing symptoms of depression, their doctor may suggest trying a course of ketamine therapy in addition to their current medication. Many undergo ketamine therapy to help the get off of their other depression and anxiety medications.  Additionally, it is possible to combine ketamine with talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Contact WellCentric Health in Reno, Nevada

In summary, ketamine therapy is a promising treatment option for those who have not been able to find relief with traditional methods. Ketamine therapy is very safe and effective when administered properly by a medical professional. It is important to consult with a ketamine physician to fully understand how and if ketamine therapy is appropriate for you and how to derive the most benefit from the therapy. It is helpful to know that combining ketamine therapy with traditional antidepressants is safe and effective.  Ketamine therapy combined with talk therapy or integration therapy is always recommended for its added potential benefit. Dr. Robert Watson has several years of extensive experience administering ketamine therapy and can address your concerns directly and personally. 

If you are interested in learning more about ketamine therapy in Reno, Nevada, contact WellCentric Health today!