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Ketamine. What is it? Is it effective? Is it safe?

Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic medication. More recently, it has been found to help treat certain types of depression and anxiety disorders. Ketamine is thought to work by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. This neurotransmitter is essential for communication between brain cells.

Ketamine is generally considered safe when used as directed by a medical professional. However, there are some potential side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Ketamine can also cause dissociation, a feeling of detachment from oneself or one's surroundings. Dissociation can be pleasant or unpleasant depending on the person's individual experience. Some people may also experience hallucinations while under the influence of ketamine.

Standard benefits:

  • Ketamine can help to relieve symptoms of depression in a matter of hours.

  • Ketamine is a safe and effective medication when used as directed by a medical professional.

  • There are few side effects associated with ketamine use, and they are generally mild and transient.

Emotional benefits:

  • Ketamine can provide relief from depressive symptoms that may be debilitating or life-threatening.

  • For some people, ketamine offers an opportunity to experience fewer or less severe side effects than traditional antidepressant medications.

Ketamine should not be used by people with a history of substance abuse, psychosis, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It should also not be used by people taking certain medications, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

If you are considering ketamine treatment for depression, it is essential to find a reputable provider. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a ketamine provider:

  • Make sure the provider is licensed and credentialed.

  • Ask about the provider's experience with ketamine treatment for depression.

  • Make sure the provider follows safe and effective protocols when administering ketamine.

  • Ask about the potential side effects of ketamine treatment and how they can be managed.

  • Make sure the provider has a good relationship with patients and takes time to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

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