Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression
APSKC is currently offering ketamine infusions for Treatment Resistant Depression. When effective, ketamine may alleviate depressive symptoms within a matter of hours or days. Ketamine received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use as an anesthetic in 1970. Ketamine has been well-studied for more than ten years an “off-label” procedure for treating depression. Off-label means that while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Ketamine as a safe and effective treatment for depression, it is both ethical and legal for trained and licensed professionals to administer ketamine for depression based on research evidence and clinical experience compiled since its approval as an anesthetic. Before the opening of the APSKC Ketamine Clinic in December 2016, Kansas City area patients sought ketamine treatments in clinics on the East and West Coasts, Denver, Texas, and other distant locations. After extensive review and discussion of the subject, our group made the commitment to providing the highest levels of effective and safe administration of ketamine for depression, including mechanisms for monitoring patient progress and modifying our treatment protocols, as the state-of-the-art progresses.
Ketamine treatments for depression are a joint venture between APSKC and Mobile Anesthesia Care, a division of Anesthesia Associates of Kansas City. We are the only major providers of ketamine treatments for Treatment Resistant Depression in the region. This joint venture model provides patients optimal care from Board Certified Psychiatrists experienced in the diagnosis of treatment resistant depression, selection of appropriate patients based on well-considered criteria, and monitoring of depressive symptoms during the course of treatment coupled with Board Certified Anesthesiologists who have extensive training and experience in the safe administration and medical monitoring of ketamine treatments. All required safety expertise and equipment is present in our dedicated Ketamine Clinic Suite.
As with all treatments for depression, ketamine is not effective for everyone and should not be viewed as “a cure” for depression. Periodic maintenance treatments or the use of traditional antidepressant treatments might be required after an initial acute series of ketamine treatments provided over a several-week timeframe. Research suggests that ketamine might be particularly of benefit in Treatment Resistant Depression, where patients have failed to respond to several traditional antidepressants and might be of value in rapidly alleviating suicidal ideations. Ketamine may also be viewed as a means for rapidly alleviating severe depressive symptoms until a traditional antidepressant treatment becomes effective.
41-year-old Cora says her “tortuous path with depression” began more than 25 years ago. She credits TMS with saving her life.
“They give you this nine-question quiz every time you see the doctor. On a scale of 0 being the best, to 27 being the worst, I had scored consistently between 20 and 24 for decades. I felt and looked dead inside. I had no sparkle in my eyes, and I was just going through the motions to be able to pay the bills. I cried almost 24/7 for no reason and it was disconcerting to everyone. I just didn’t care anymore.”
“When my six weeks were up and I had finished my six maintenance sessions over the following two months, I was a new person, or better yet, the old person I had once been. My quiz score on my last day was 4. I thought I’d never see a number that low ever again. I still have to take my medications so I don’t relapse because my depression was so severe, but I would do the “Brain Magnets” a hundred times over even if my insurance hadn’t covered it. Now I tell everyone I know who has been struggling with severe depression to talk to their doctor about TMS because if it could help me, I am sure it could help anyone. I thank Dr. Handoo and the TMS techs at PAKC for giving my life back to me and my family.”
— Cora, 41, Independence
“I have tried multiple medications, combinations of medications, therapy, etc., and I still had suicidal thoughts almost daily. I took 6 weeks of Ketamine, beginning in late March, and my entire life has changed. I talk to people again; I am working 2 jobs; I work while I’m at home, rather than just going to my room and sleeping; and I truly feel as if I have my life back. Taking Ketamine was the best decision I have ever made.”
— Michelle, 43, Kansas City, MO