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Is Ketamine Used To Treat Anxiety And Panic Attacks?

As you search for ways to address your mental health symptoms, you may have learned about ketamine IV infusions. But is ketamine used to treat anxiety and panic attacks? Keep reading to learn more and decide if ketamine IV therapy is right for you.

What is ketamine?

Ketamine was initially developed as an anesthetic and has been approved for that purpose by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the past 45 years. Since the 1990s, researchers have been exploring the benefits of ketamine as a treatment for mental health conditions. It should be noted that when used as a mental health treatment, ketamine is administered in significantly smaller doses than when used as an anesthetic.

Ketamine IV therapy is believed to stimulate production of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which makes the brain more resilient. Increased glutamate helps promote cell repair and the formation of new connections in the brain.

Although using ketamine to help alleviate mental health symptoms is “off-label” according to the FDA, many doctors prescribe the treatment based on the promising research that has been completed. IV therapy is considered the most effective form of ketamine treatment due to more effective absorption by the body.

Benefits of ketamine IV therapy for anxiety and panic attacks

There has been much research into ketamine IV therapy for those suffering with treatment-resistant depression, a form of major depressive disorder. People with treatment-resistant depression have tried at least 2 antidepressant regimens with minimal success. Suicidal ideation is a common symptom of treatment-resistant depression, which can be severe enough to warrant an emergency room visit to avoid self-harm. In one study, 88% of such patients who received an emergency ketamine IV treatment no longer felt suicidal ideation after 90 minutes.

Research has expanded in recent years to other mental health conditions, such as:

  • Postpartum depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

There are several studies showing the benefits of ketamine for anxiety and panic attacks, including:

  • One clinical trial of people with PTSD showed that 67% of participants responded to ketamine IV therapy, experiencing significant improvements 24 hours after the first treatment. The average duration of relief was 27.5 days after the final session. Ketamine was well-tolerated by participants and did not cause any serious side effects.
  • A study of ketamine’s effects on those with Social Anxiety Disorder showed that ketamine treatments had notably positive carryover effects 28 days after treatment.
  • Anxious bipolar disorder is believed to be a more severe subtype of the condition, resulting in traditional treatments frequently being less effective. This study shows that ketamine significantly reduces depression for those with anxious bipolar disorder just as effectively as those with non-anxious bipolar disorder.
  • A trial of ketamine IV therapy to treat OCD found that patients experienced rapid, significant reduction in symptoms during the first infusion, with effects lasting at least one week for 50% of participants.

Ketamine is believed to be effective for a longer duration because glutamate encourages cell repair and the creation of new neural connections. Traditional treatments typically only work as long as they are in your system. When paired with therapy to help establish new healthy connections, ketamine IV therapy benefits can last weeks or even months.

What are the risks of ketamine IV therapy?

There are many health factors to consider before beginning ketamine therapy. It is a powerful drug that is not the right choice for everyone. You should only get ketamine therapy from a licensed healthcare professional after a thorough health screening is conducted to ensure ketamine is a safe treatment for you.

Risks

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid ketamine therapy. Ketamine IV therapy is also not recommended for those with schizophrenia.

People with high blood pressure may experience dangerous side effects such as:

  • Aneurysm
  • Aortic tear
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Heart attack

Ketamine may also cause:

  • Cognitive deficits (when administered to children)
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Unstable function of blood vessels or heart (causing abnormal heart rhythms or fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure)
  • Intracranial pressure release
  • Respiratory depression (due to overdose or treatment being given too quickly)

Common side effects

In addition to the risks above, there are some common side effects of ketamine IV infusions that all patients may experience. These side effects are similar to those experienced from anesthesia, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Double vision

Can you become addicted to ketamine?

Ketamine can cause a “high” involving pleasant feelings and sensations, leading some people to take ketamine recreationally. When ketamine is taken against medical advice, it can lead to an intense psychological addiction. Once an addiction develops, withdrawal can lead to extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. Detoxing from ketamine should be professionally supervised by a healthcare expert to help ensure safety during the process.

Ketamine can also cause serious and sometimes fatal effects when combined with certain other drugs or alcohol. Ketamine’s ability to cause memory lapse, incapacitate, and sedate have unfortunately led to it being utilized as a date rape drug.

How to choose a reliable provider of ketamine IV therapy

A ketamine IV therapy provider should be a licensed healthcare expert trained in ketamine infusion therapy administration. You should expect a thorough healthcare screening discussing your family and personal health history as well as any medications you have taken recently. This information can help your provider determine whether ketamine is a safe therapy for you. A standard course of treatment typically involves 6-8 IV sessions but may vary on a case-by-case basis.

Seeking care for severe mental health symptoms can be challenging. House call doctors allow you to access ketamine IV therapy without leaving the comfort and privacy of your home. Experts from a mobile healthcare practice will come to your home to administer ketamine treatments. Telehealth services allow you to ask follow-up questions and discuss your progress without having to book another in-person appointment.

If you are at high risk of severe illness from Covid-19 or other contagious illnesses, mobile IV therapy practices allow you to access ketamine treatments without risking exposure during travel or at the doctor’s office.

Experience The Benefits Of Ketamine Therapy At Home With Concierge MD

If you are interested in the benefits of ketamine therapy, reach out to Concierge MD. We are a licensed, mobile healthcare practice of a number of services, including ketamine therapy.

We offer ketamine infusion therapy for conditions such as:

  • Treatment resistant depression
  • Chronic pain conditions
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum depression

Our health experts will evaluate your medical history and the concerns you are trying to address to determine if ketamine therapy is the right choice for you. Treatments are administered by a licensed medical professional in the comfort and privacy of your home. Our telehealth portal allows you to follow up after treatment to report progress and ask questions.

Concierge MD is proud to offer the benefits of ketamine therapy in the comfort and privacy of our clients’ homes. We also provide a number of other services, including direct primary care. Contact us today!

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