2019 saw the FDA approve esketamine (Spravato), a ketamine-derived nasal spray, for the treatment by Ketamine Therapy in Westchester County for depression, but only in specific patients who simultaneously take oral antidepressants and only under tight guidelines in accredited medical facilities. It could be a possibility for those with major depressive disorder who are suicidal or who have not responded well to antidepressant medications.

What Is Ketamine?

In Belgium, ketamine was first developed in the 1960s as an animal anesthetic. In 1970, the FDA authorized it for use as a human anesthetic. During the Vietnam War, wounded soldiers were treated with it on the front lines.

It could be given by emergency personnel to a distressed patient they have saved from committing suicide, for example. According to Ken Stewart, MD, this is how medical professionals first noticed the drug's potent antidepressant and suicidal ideation effects.

Dissociative Experience

Both a "trip" and a "dissociative experience," as defined by medical professionals, are brought on by ketamine. It gained popularity as a club drug and went by the names K, Special K, Super K, and Vitamin K, among others. It is injected, mixed with drinks, snorted, or added to cigarettes or joints by partygoers.

The journey takes roughly two hours. However, using ketamine carries some very serious hazards, which is why it should only be administered under a doctor's supervision. The most harmful ones include severely delayed respiration, elevated blood pressure, and unconsciousness. Long-term issues include depression, poor memory, stomach pain, kidney difficulties, ulcers, and pain in the bladder could potentially be brought on by the medication.

Treatment by Ketamine Therapy in Westchester

The FDA has issued a warning, stating that no psychiatric disorders are approved for treatment with ketamine therapy or compounded ketamine medications. This indicates that they haven't worked well or safely. They continue to take their antidepressant medication and get esketamine at a clinic, where they are monitored by a medical professional for a minimum of two hours following the dosage.

Patients with treatment-resistant depression often receive the nasal spray twice a week for the first four weeks, once a week for the fifth through ninth weeks, and then once every other week or two after that.

The spray comes with a warning regarding the possibility of sleepiness, problems paying attention, making poor decisions, and thinking, in addition to the possibility of drug abuse or misuse and suicidal thoughts and actions.

Other Forms

Other forms of ketamine include an IV infusion or an injection into the arm; however, the FDA has not approved any of them for use in treating mental health issues. The majority of studies focus on intravenous ketamine. It can only be administered via IV or injection in a medical facility.

About forty minutes pass during the IV infusion. After the drip stops, the dissociative experience wears off rapidly, usually within 15 to 20 minutes. Throughout the entire procedure, a doctor is constantly present. Although the patient may not always be in the same room as the doctor, they may always reach them if they have any questions or if they start to feel uneasy or confused.

The patient appears to be asleep while using the drip. Most remain still and silent. However, he notes that some people might speak up, comment on what's happening to them, or even just question where they are, or about the music that's playing on their headphones.

When someone receives ketamine only once, the antidepressant effects gradually wear off over a few hours, days, or weeks. The effects of the series of infusions are more persistent.

Coming Back to Real Life

Integration is the process by which a medical professional sits down and converses with a patient at the clinic following the mind-altering portion of the ketamine encounter. Patients may be advised to continue their ketamine therapy at another clinic.

Krystal advises patients to carry on with their psychotherapy following ketamine treatment. Krystal treats treatment-resistant mood disorders at the VA Connecticut Health System and Yale-New Haven Hospital with IV and intranasal ketamine.

When prescribing IV ketamine, doctors typically advise their patients to stick to their usual antidepressant schedule as well.

Patients may schedule a booster weeks, months, or years after receiving their first series of six to eight doses. When or if someone needs a booster, there is no set recommendation.

How Ketamine Therapy Works

This is what they currently know: Some depressed individuals report feeling better several days after using ketamine, even if they don't experience the usual drug trip that ketamine usually induces.

Depending on the initial state it was in, the brain might react in a variety of ways. For instance, some individuals who suffer from chronic depression experience a loss of synapses, which are critical brain connections that facilitate communication between nerve cells.

However, studies reveal that those lost connections begin to rebuild back 24 hours after the first dose of ketamine administered under medical supervision. Patients benefit more from ketamine's antidepressant effects the more synapses they develop.


Most insurance companies do not pay for IV ketamine because it has not been approved by the FDA for treating depression. An infusion can cost a lot of money and is usually covered out of pocket. A whole course of treatment may cost several thousand dollars.

Certain individuals might discontinue their treatments, particularly if they are unable to pay for them or if their insurance does not cover them. Stewart notes that he is unable to determine if patients are unable to pay to return or if they are simply not feeling well enough to warrant a follow-up visit.

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