Important things to know before using ketamine for mental health problems

Mental health problems are pretty common. In fact, many anxiety, depression, and other types of mental and emotional health issues can last for years even with the presence of medical intervention. But using ketamine therapy for anxiety is giving some hope for many patients. If you want to know more about this treatment, read on for insight.

What is ketamine?

Back in the 1960s, ketamine was first used in Belgian labs. The original purpose of it was to cause anaesthesia in lab animals. With its amazing results as an anesthetic, ketamine became more popular. But it was not until the 1970s that it was officially approved by the FDA for anaesthetizing humans. At first, ketamine, also known as ketalar, was used on a limited scale in procedures that did not need muscles to be fully relaxed. But during the Vietnam War, ketamine was a popular anaesthetic for treating numerous wounded soldiers.

With the wide spread of this medicine, it has become used for more purposes other than as a dissociative anesthetic. For instance, it gets recommended for patients with suicidal thoughts, depression, insomnia, and social anxiety. Also, it has become a preferred option for patients with chronic pain and status epilepticus.

When ketamine is used for depression, there must be a reason for choosing it over the rest of the antidepressants. The vast majority of antidepressants work as a way to enhance the patient’s mood through producing more brain chemicals. But ketamine does not work this way. It targets repairing and increasing the number of excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate. This way, ketamine gives faster and more efficient results compared to basic anti-depressants.

Ketamine for treating anxiety

It is pretty common for depression patients to complain about anxiety symptoms, and vice versa. Ketamine has a proven ability to help those patients. If you have any type of anxiety disorder, ketamine can be very useful. This is due to its ability to improve the performance of synaptic neurotransmitters or receptors in your brain. So basically, the right ketamine dose can reduce the severity of the brain’s reaction to stress. There are various studies and clinical trials linking ketamine to providing actual results as an antianxiety drug. According to these studies, ketamine can work well with patients with social anxiety disorder, PTSD, and panic disorders.

Ketamine for treating pain

As a dissociative general anesthetic, ketamine can be a good option for alleviating various pains. But it is important to be used in proper doses to avoid bad side effects. Improper use of ketamine can lead to dissociation and even hallucinations. But as a pain treatment, ketamine can be very efficient for patients with abdominal pain or bone fractures. Also, it is useful for severe trauma patients.

Ketamine and Safety

Ketamine is generally a safe medication that does not lead to serious health risks. Various ketamine clinical trials have proven its safety when it is taken cautiously and in low doses. But it is important to avoid using it if you have a problem with unstable blood pressure or schizophrenia. Also, pregnant women or nursing mothers are not supposed to take this drug.

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