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The Innovation of Medicine: Ketamine

Historically ketamine has been used as a medication for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It is also known to induce dissociative anesthesia. Dissociative anesthesia is an almost trance-like state providing pain relief, sedation, and amnesia. For more information about its usage as a safe form of anesthesia follow the link. Ketamine is a controlled substance and classified as a schedule III drug. But it is not classified as an opioid (narcotic) or a barbiturate. 

The innovation of medicine is the relatively new uses of ketamine to treat a variety of conditions. Because of its long history of being used recreationally some people may be skeptical. But physicians, psychologist, and psychiatrists have all explored and studied the medical uses in new and revolutionary uses in the fields of mental health, treating depression, and aiding in the substance detox treatment. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled depression, “the leading cause of disability worldwide.” Under a doctors care ketamine has changed the rules of the game.

Ketamine & the Brain

Under a doctors supervision and a controlled dosage of ketamine it has been proven to make new brain paths. So this works differently from antidepressants, instead acting on the glutamate. Glutamate is the most common chemical messenger in the brain. The glutamate refers to the anion of glutamic acid in its role as a neurotransmitter or a chemical that nerve cells use to send signals to other cells. Glutamate is involved in the brains memory, emotion, pain recognition, and learning. Furthermore research has indicated to an increase neuron activity in the brain. Its effects on the neurons in the brain can trigger rapid growth of new neurological connections. 

Can it be Used to Treat Depression?

Yes it is, and research has shown that ketamine relieves symptoms of depression within hours of administrating the drug. In comparison to antidepressants which begin to work within weeks. It has also shown to work when multiple other treatments have failed and the patient has been labeled “treatment-resistant.” 

The drawback to ketamine are its side effects. Such side effects include:

  • Addiction
  • Bladder problems
  • Out-of-body experiences

It is also important to point out that it is not a cure, it is a relatively new drug that combined with treatment proves to be a new revolutionary treatment. 

How do Physicians Administer Ketamine?

Inpatient Detox and generally most detox treatments are uncomfortable. As a patient the usage of ketamine as a mild sedative and pain reliever. Because there are many protocols for ketamine use, this is something you can discuss with your physician based on treatment plans, rate of remission, and medical history. 

It can be administered via an IV. The reason IV Ketamine is used because intramuscular and intranasal options have unreliable and varied variable absorption from patient to patient. IV Ketamine is administered with other medications. And it is important to point out that it should not be self administered. It is typically mixed with saline bags and administered. 

Medications Include:

  • Lidocaine 
  • Ketamine 
  • Magnesium 

For more information about the services Embracia Health Clinic offers, follow the link.

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