Can Ketamine Help Those With Treatment Resistant Depression?

IV ketamine

On March 5, 2019 the FDA approved the first markedly new medication to treat depression in decades. The drug is derived from Ketamine, a commonly used anesthetic that has made headlines for its surprising antidepressant effects.

With most drugs, the effects only last for as long as the drug is in your system. However with Ketamine, reactions in your cortex are triggered which enable connections in the brain to regrow. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Ketamine, and its anti-depressant effects, have been looked at and researched since the late 1990s. Ketamine, as many know, has been used as anesthesia during surgeries since the 1970s. Most notably, Ketamine was used extensively for surgery during the Vietnam War.

Studies conducted by research teams at Yale University showed that Ketamine triggers glutamate production. This, in a very unique series of events, leads to new neural connections being formed by the brain; thus making the brain more adaptable and readily able to create new neural pathways. Patients are ultimately able to develop more positive thoughts and behaviors. This effect was never before seen with traditional anti-depressants.

“I think the interesting and exciting part of this discovery is that it came largely out of basic neuroscience research, instead of by chance. It wasn’t just, ‘let’s try this drug and see what happens.’ There was increasing evidence suggesting that there was some abnormality within the glutamatergic system in the brains of people suffering from depression, and this prompted the idea of using a drug that targets this system.” – Gerard Sanacora, MD, PhD – Psychiatrist – Yale Medicine

Researchers at Yale University have been experimenting with sub-anesthetic doses of Ketamine, delivered intravenously in controlled clinical settings, for the last two decades. Patients in these trials suffered from severe depression and had not shown any signs of improvement with the use of standard anti-depressants.

The results of these studies have been remarkable, to say the least. In several of the studies, more than half of those participating showed significant decreases in depression symptoms in only 24 hours. Even more noteworthy is that these were patients who experienced no noticeable improvements on other traditional anti-depressant medication.

To learn more about our new IV Ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression and treatment-resistant depression, contact Coastal Longevity Institute at or call us at (561) 621-4831.

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