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I'm kind of skeptical that any long-term or permanent results would last from ketamine. People have certainly reported positive results but I think a sustained treatment would be necessary.

I'm pretty much in favor of whatever medicines are most useful being made available to people who need them, I'm very anti "war on drugs" and all that. But since ketamine has only been used as an anesthetic for children and as recreational drug for adults, it would be impossible to determine if there are detrimental long term effects from low dose ketamine treatments until researchers are allowed to test in people in greater depth than they are now.

What was your experience like?

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Actually I think ketamine probably has better known long term effects than most anti depressants truth be told. Ketamine a has been used in human medicine for decades as an anesthetic.

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My experience with the 45 minute ketamine infusion was totally positive. Before trying the infusion treatment I first tried oral ketamine. That was a bust. Then we tried intramuscular injections which did not work for me either. There was a brief period of euphoria, but no lasting change in affect and also had a noticeable down side after an hour or so. This confirms (at least to me the potential for abuse) because basically you got high for a short period, then crashed. The infusion treatment was a completely different experience. I went to the Doctor's office every day for 6 days in a row about 10 a.m. I was hooked up to a saline/ketamine i.v. drip for 45 minutes. Sometimes I napped, but at no time was there the feeling of any kind of high I would associate with "drugs" (and I know there of what I speak). I felt a positive change in affect from the 1st treatment but there was no craving or " I can't wait for my next fix". None of the horror show that accompanies addiction. The problem was and is that the relief I got did not last beyond a day or two after I stopped the treatments. Since the FDA has not approved infusion as a primary treatment for depression medicare or private insurance won't pay for it. The Doctor's office was in lower Manhattan, his fee was $450 (senior discount, it's usually $550), add in in tolls and parking , we are talking $5K for 6 treatments. The research I've done indicates the infusion is like a wash that actually can restore "dead" synapses and perhaps other elements critical to neurotransmitters. There could be wide variations in individual responses. Some might need dozens of treatments to start with, eventually reducing to occasional booster shots. I know that behavioral issues, meditation and exercise will a part of the program that saves my life. There are no sure bets in life, but I'm convinced that ketamine infusion will at least put me on a level playing field. But I'm 65 and I'm not being melodramatic when I say life has been mostly an unpleasant experience and realistically my chances of getting the FDA to move off the dime are, well Don Quixote was probably less delusional than me.

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Did a search before posting. Other posts were months old or over a year.

This drug that has been around a long time has been in the news alot lately for it's promise in the treatment of depression and I'm headed to Duke University next month to see if I am a candidate for a clinical trial.

I've suffered from depression for more than 20 years and have been on every drug it seems and have been diagnosed 'treatment resistant'.

Anyone recently prescribed ketamine or have anything to share?

(it seems all the drugs have their own thread except ketamine...... it needs it's own threat, too since it's coming into it's own now)

Edited by JanePlainandSimple

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Hi JanePlainandSimple,

There is a ketamine advocacy group made up of lifelong depression sufferers who got relief with ketamine. See the *link removed* for an FAQ about the treatment, a directory of doctors who offer it, and discussion forums where we share our experiences as patients.

I appreciate you volunteering for a clinical trial. Many of us did, too. We need people to volunteer for these studies so researchers can learn more about ketamine's mechanism of action, and how to maximize its benefits. If you can't get into the trial at Duke, check out *link removed* to search for a different one. Or contact one of the doctors our our website to see about getting treated clinically.

Good luck.

Edited by Natasha1
Links

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This is to the folks that are in charge of this forum who have done such a great job and listed many of the popular medications in the "Depression and Anxiety Medications- Looking for answers"

Where is Ketamine?

I had my first IV-infusion yesterday and OMGoodness! After 20 something years and dozens of medications and therapies (including ECT)- I'm not sad today.

I've even tried to let my mind go to those places that would set me off, put me in a funk, etc. Nope- I haven't been able to make myself sad.

We are going to see how long this lasts and when I relapse. When I relapse I can get another infusion/dosing.

Please note this drug is old school and has been around a long, long time. It's only in the past few years media has started to pay attention to it's ability to treat depression. Some doctors will prescribe it for their patients- others (the majority) won't. Alot is not understood about this or how it works. And it's considered 'off label' use for the treatment of depression. But that is not uncommon in the medical world as many doctors treat conditions with 'off label' use.

What I'd like to see is Ketamine have it's own thread along with prozac, abilifiy, etc. That way we all can share our experiences with this (just like the other meds that were selected to rate their own thread).

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It is still something that is not widely accepted as a treatment for depression, though there are ongoing studies and some clinics that will administer injections. I don't think that most insurances will cover it. It is something I have considered myself as I deal with my treatment resistant depression.

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Jane. Could you please tell us more? Who recommended it? What else had you tried? How long did you have the I-V in? How long does the infusion last? What was the cost? Thank you!

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UPDATE:

Backstory is I've suffered for more than 2 decades and been on drug after drug, after drug....and nothing worked for me. ECT didn't work for me- got me to where I wasn't suicidal, YES....but didn't stop the saddness and crying.

I read about Ketamine in a psych journal and did some research and felt at my age and my suffering level- I've got to give it a shot.

The study is for Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Concerta, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Topamax, Xarelto, etc.) and I joined the research study. This was the only way I knew to get the medicine, at least to try it out to see if it worked for me..... because my doctor would NOT write a script for me.... even though doctors CAN as off-label treatments are very common. But most doctors won't because this can be a dangerous drug if not taken appropriately and what doctor wants to be sued! Plus many pharmacies do not carry ketamine; however, some pharmacists are willing to make the compound themselves (as is common for many medicines). But you'd have to really do your research to find one.

Anyways, the infusion itself is 45 minutes. The half life of ketamine is short so while you can't drive a car right after...you can the next day kind of thing. Cost is nothing for me.

There are clinics who specialize in ketamine in GA, PA, and NY. If ketamine proves to be beneficial to me I will NOT hesitate to travel to one of the places for treatment as I'm at the end of my rope with depression.

What else have I tried? It's more like what have I NOT tried. I started out with buspar, xanax, wellbutrin, prozac..... in the early '90s. And in 2014 went to ECT. So that's giving each drug months and months to see if it works, even going up and up on dosages. After 6 months to a year, I'd switch to something else.

The first infusion resulted in NO feeling of happiness for me, no euphoria, nothing like that; however, I did NOT feel sad anymore. Kinda hard to explain. But three days later I found myself crying myself to sleep. So it was very, very short lived.

I go back Monday for another infusion. And the study only allows 2 so this is my last one. If it works for a few weeks at least, then this would be something I'd be willing to travel for treatments.

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Just wanted to add more and more providers are getting on board. Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and California have specialists, too. And there are probably more providers out there.... just like with any medication you want to take- - do the research first.

Edited by JanePlainandSimple

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Ketamine is an animal tranquilizer and not approved for use in humans per the FDA. All trials are sponsored by the drug companies. Insurance plans will not pay for it until the FDA approves it for use in humans. It has an exceptionally short half life (a few hours) which is sufficient for short procedures or surgery in animals. Until it is approved by the FDA, it will not be listed in our other drugs topics.

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Another UPDATE:

 

Relapsed 4 1/2 days later.

 

Next week continue the 'initial treatment" which is 6 infusions.... have had two, only four left. 

 

can you provide an update since your last four infusions? have you been subsequently receiving more treatments or have you gone back to a traditional SSRI or something?

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thanks for sharing your experiences with ketamine (both of you in the thread who mentioned trying it.) really interesting to read. I actually also participated in a study a few years ago. However it was an intranasal administration study and, looking back, IMO the dosing was way off - I did end up in a very dysphoric, consciousness-altered state. The half life of the drug is very short, thankfully, as it was a little unpleasant (i remember wondering why anyone would do it recreationally, that part sure wasn't fun.) Anyway, I only had the one dose of it, and when i came back to a normal state of mind and in subsequent days I didn't feel any less depressed. But i considered it to be a jury-still-out sort of thing , in the end , because most of the trials with good results where IV infusions --as the original poster described -- and clearly in MUCH lower doses. Maybe my reaction also has to do with what sort of a metabolizer I am , perhaps the dose would have only induced mild effects for others of my weight.

I'd be really interested to have rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) discussed here - the FDA HAS approved it, and it's very non-invasive and not metabolized by your liver : ) none of the memory loss that comes with ECT. It did very well in the trials for treatment resistant depression and is fairly accessible (at least as prevalent as infusion centers for ketamine, i'd suspect..) and you can drive afterwards. Hmm.. maybe RTMS is discussed here somewhere, actually,but i'm using tapatalk and can't check.. Anyhow. another thing. that's different from the other things. it's a good one to know about : )

lastly was wondering if any side effects from the longer-term periodic low dow dose ketamine infusions, besides the good one of being less depressed?

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Ketamine is an animal tranquilizer and not approved for use in humans per the FDA. All trials are sponsored by the drug companies. Insurance plans will not pay for it until the FDA approves it for use in humans. It has an exceptionally short half life (a few hours) which is sufficient for short procedures or surgery in animals. Until it is approved by the FDA, it will not be listed in our other drugs topics.

 

Yes that is what I have been told as well. I am not an expert on ketamine nor do I know too much about it, but from what I read online it is very expensive, and the feelings do not last very long, so I doubt the insurances will cover it.

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I've been suffering for most of my adult life. I've tried a lot (if not all) available medicines and am starting to get desperate.  My father died (unrelated causes to depression) before I started showing signs of depression, but he had gone through a trial of ketamine to treat his. He was effectively cured!  I remember seeing the relief in his eyes after he had gone through, and I only hope someday that I can feel that kind of weight lifted from my back. 

 

My question is, does anyone know anything about the effectiveness of ketamine in treatment?  There doesn't seem to be an avenue for me to get any, and I'm not even sure about the legality of the issue (although if I'm being honest, legality comes second to my own health).  Does anyone know of trials in the LA area? Or even further?  My desperation can only go so long before I give up, and this is one of my last hopes. 

 

Thanks for any information.

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Isn't that a type of anesthetic they use during surgical procedures where they don't use general, so you are awake but don't remember anything?

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Hi everyone,

First, thank you everyone for all the community and input that's gone into these forums. I've been poring over the forums for quite a while and decided finally to take the plunge and register to ask a few questions.

1st: There's been a lot more research over the past year about Ketamine therapy. Does anyone have personal experience with it? In a medically supervised environment, of course.

2nd: Is anyone aware of any Ketamine Clinics in Las Vegas or close by?

3rd: Does anyone have experience with a Las Vegas clinic? What were your experiences?

Again, thank you so much.

Edited by ericshaden

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Ketamine advocacy network is a very informative site that has a ton of clinic research, personal experiences and a directory that has a list of ketamine clinics. 

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