Treatment guidelines recommend Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram), and Zoloft (sertraline) as first-line treatments for moderate to severe depression, but they take weeks to work and sometimes yield only modest improvement. Fewer than half of all patients feel any relief at all from typical first-line medications and, while there is an alarming increase in suicidality among young people, some studies show little benefit from first-line medications in adolescents. All first-line antidepressants carry a boxed warning of an actual increased risk of suicide.
Ketamine and suicidality
Multiple studies published in the medical literature have demonstrated the remarkable effects of ketamine in the treatment of suicidal patients. One study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry demonstrated that a single dose of ketamine rapidly reduced suicidal thoughts, within 24 hours and for up to 1 week in depressed patients. The anti-suicidal effect of ketamine in depressed patients occurs rapidly and significantly in many patients and how long the effect lasts can vary. Most studies report the effects from a single dose lasting typically about one week but data suggest that a single dose of IV ketamine will not be sufficient for long-lasting relief in most patients because the suicidality can be persistent and recurrent. A study of patients receiving a course of several IV ketamine infusions over several days found: “rapidly and robustly decreased suicidal ideation in patients with treatment-resistant depression. In some patients, this decrease was maintained for at least 3 months following the final ketamine infusion.” Sustained results are more likely with a comprehensive follow-up support plan in place.
Ketamine’s anti-suicidal effect appears to come from its unique ability to work in several different ways at the same time. Research continues to uncover the exact mechanism of ketamine. In the process, this research is helping us make significant new strides towards understanding more about depression and suicidality itself.
Why choose ketamine infusion therapy?
An analysis of 24 articles including clinical trials indicated IV ketamine to be an effective treatment for suicidality. There are several other ways of administrating ketamine (intramuscular, intranasal, and oral) however the data on these alternatives is less conclusive than the results seen from IV ketamine.
A 2021 review of 323 published medical studies confirmed “[ketamine’s] clear effectiveness in reducing symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation, either after a single administration, or especially when administered repeatedly.”
KetaMind Israel’s protocol is developed from the evidence of multiple studies that have demonstrated that 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine infused over 40 minutes definitively reduced suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms. Clinically controlled infusions with continual monitoring from healthcare professionals are key to the best possible patient care and to the success of the treatment.
KetaMind Israel working with active duty IDF soldiers
At KetaMind Israel we feel a special debt of gratitude to our soldiers. Many on our care teams are themselves IDF veterans which puts them in a unique position to truly understand many of the challenges involved. To honor this special group of people we have created a unique Hero’s program.
There is hope, there is help.
Talk with us to learn more about ketamine and suicidality.