Estimates say up to half of people with Major Depressive Disorder will be “treatment-resistant” meaning they will have an inadequate response to commonly prescribed antidepressant medications Each prescription is typically given 6 weeks to see if it works or see if its side effects become unbearable. This leads some psychiatrists to suggest today’s trial and error treatments for depression appear no more effective than they were 50 years ago.
The conventional hit or miss, wait and see approach can simply delay proven ketamine treatment. Ketamine infusion therapy of treatment-resistant depression has a higher rate of success because it works quickly on different receptors in the brain, and on the neurotransmitter glutamate. There is also evidence that ketamine regenerates neural pathways that have deteriorated because of depression.
Over the past 20 years low dose ketamine has been repeatedly shown to have rapid and sustained antidepressant and anti-suicidal effects when given in carefully controlled clinical settings These findings were confirmed by a 2021 review of 83 published reports, 40 trials, and 10 retrospective reviews in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
A comprehensive review of 278 articles and 25 clinical studies in Current Neuropharmacology agreed that ketamine had a fast and long-lasting effect on depressive symptoms and feelings of hopelessness.