Nasal Ketamine Q & A
What is nasal ketamine?
For many years, ketamine was used solely as an anesthetic. But researchers have discovered that ketamine offers other distinct therapeutic benefits. In particular, ketamine can help relieve severe or treatment-resistant depression.
At Boston MindCare, PC, you can receive ketamine through:
- Nasal sprays
- Oral drugs
- IV infusions
- Intramuscular injections
If you're not sure which option is the right fit, the Boston MindCare, PC, team can help. During your consultation, you meet with an experienced anesthesiologist. Your provider helps you make the right decisions about your care.
What conditions are treated with nasal ketamine?
Mental illness often requires a combination of therapy and medication. But finding the right medication can be a challenge. Psychiatrists know that some patients don't respond to most psychiatric drugs.
Even if you're able to find the right drug, it might not take effect right away. It may be eight weeks before your medication reaches its full efficacy. If you suffer from severe symptoms, it can be hard to wait months for relief.
Ketamine can be an excellent option for people with treatment-resistant depression. At Boston MindCare, PC, providers also use ketamine for:
- Chronic pain
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
During your consultation, your provider asks what medications you've tried in the past. They work with you to determine whether ketamine is right for you.
How does nasal ketamine work?
Boston MindCare, PC, providers recommend using a generic ketamine nasal spray. This cost-effective spray uses the same formula as brand-name drugs.
To administer your medication, you spray a light mist into your nasal passages. From there, the drug is absorbed into your body and carried to your brain.
Once it enters your brain, ketamine acts on NMDA receptors. By blocking these receptors, ketamine activates certain biochemical pathways. This process improves communication between different receptors in the brain. Over time, it can regulate pain and boost your mood.
Ketamine may even teach your brain to create new synapses. Mental illnesses can damage these synapses and change the way your brain works. But ketamine appears to restore healthy brain function.
What results can I expect?
Studies show that 75% of patients experience some benefits from ketamine treatment. Most patients notice an improvement in their symptoms within 24 hours. The Boston MindCare, PC, team can let you know when to expect results, and how often you can use your spray.