Depression: Turning to Ketamine Therapy Before Antidepressants

Depression: Turning to Ketamine Therapy Before Antidepressants

There is a very real concern in the United States that doctors are overprescribing antidepressant medications to their patients. AARP mentions that prescribing meds “without a diagnosis of depression is escalating” especially among the elderly population. 

Most often, medications are prescribed by a primary care physician or a psychiatrist for depression and mood disorders. Common antidepressant medication side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches 
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of libido
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness 

With all these potential side effects, it’s no wonder most people are looking for new options for treatment. Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions are just one such promising therapy.

Antidepressant Drugs and the Concern for Addiction 

Certain antidepressants are addictive. This is especially true for benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium Librium, Dalmane, and Restoril. The American Family Physician mentions the very real risk associated with the long-term use of benzos. These risks include physical dependence, cognitive impairment, a potential risk for hip fractures and an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes. 

Other antidepressants have unacceptable side effects or cause symptoms even when you stop taking them. 

Typical symptoms of discontinuing use of many SSRI and SNRI antidepressant meds include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting 
  • Balance problems
  • Muscle spasms
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Worsening of depression symptoms

Again, as with the side effects that are possible when taking antidepressants, withdrawal symptoms can be even worse when you suddenly stop taking these drugs. Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist before you stop taking any prescription med to minimize the risk of withdrawal. Depending on how long you were taking your medications, it can take several weeks for the medications to completely clear out of your body.

While these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you were addicted to the antidepressant, it certainly makes for an unpleasant experience as your body goes into overdrive to rid these chemicals from your system. On the other hand, ketamine therapy has few to no adverse symptoms with many patients mentioning they feel a deep sense of relaxation during their sessions.

Ketamine Therapy as Another Treatment Option

Ketamine treatments are up to 85 percent effective at treating depression and other mood disorders. Think about that statistic for a moment – the current primary medication track that most doctors prescribe takes between 6 and 8 weeks to work. Yet, the side effects of these meds are terrible and debilitating and they actually only work about 20 percent better than a placebo. 

This is in direct contrast to IV ketamine which only takes one or two treatments before you start feeling an improvement in your depression symptoms. You’ll often know the day of your first session whether it’s going to work for you or not.

Another bonus is that IV ketamine treatments are non-addictive and you don’t have to be locked into taking a daily medication, as you do when taking prescription antidepressant pills. A typical recommended treatment plan is a series of 6 ketamine sessions spread out over 2 to 3 weeks with an occasional booster session scheduled every 3 to 6 months. During your initial consultation, Dr. Ben Spielberg will go over your medical history and discuss a specific plan for treatment to help you achieve optimal results.

IV ketamine treatments are so effective that many primary care physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists are beginning to put IV ketamine treatments at the front of the line as a first go-to treatment plan. The results are phenomenal; it is a fast-acting therapy and the results are nearly immediate.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

Why would you want to take a medication that may have terrible side effects and take 6 to 8 weeks before you know if it will work? On the other hand, ketamine has a very high success rate that works almost immediately.

Contact the Bespoke Treatment today to see if you are nearby our Los Angeles and Santa Monica clinic to get a free consultation and get the help you need and improve the quality of your life: 833-867-2329.

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