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Pros and cons of ketamine treatment for PTSD
November 26, 2021 at 3:00 PM
Man with severe depression and PTSD considering ketamine treatments

In the past several decades, research surrounding ketamine for the treatment of mental health disorders has grown substantially. This substance which was once regarded as a euphoric party drug, has now entered the realm of treatment in the form of low-dose infusions.

Since the introduction of ketamine infusions, patients have reported transformative experiences that have continued to improve conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety as a long-term solution. There are however, several pros and cons to this form of treatment.

If you suffer from PTSD, ketamine could be an option for you. Read our list of pros and cons to find out if you should speak to your doctor about this exciting new treatment.

Pro: It can be taken with other medications

If you currently have a prescription that has improved your quality of life, this does not necessarily disqualify you from reaping the benefits of ketamine infusions. The most common medications for PTSD are SSRIs, which work by transferring serotonin across the network of nerves in your brain more efficiently. Many sufferers of PTSD who are already medicated are able to improve their mental health further by combining SSRIs with ketamine infusions.

Con: There are minimal FDA approved treatments

Due to the historical abuse of ketamine as a recreational drug, the FDA has been slow to approve various iterations of this medication. Users experience a temporary high that causes feelings of euphoria, relaxation of the body, and introspective thinking. Without the right dosage and formulation, it can be extremely dangerous, which is why we currently only have one FDA approved version of ketamine.

Pro: Immediate interventions

Unlike an SSRI, which can take weeks before taking effect, ketamine has the power to address urgent PTSD-related episodes. For example, if a patient is suicidal, a single infusion will immediately calm the mind and body, providing a fast intervention and quelling suicidal thoughts for an extended period of time.

Con: Ketamine should not be mixed with alcohol

Many sufferers of PTSD lean on substance abuse as a respite from their turbulent mental state. If a patient has a history of alcohol addiction, taking ketamine could pose a major health risk. Combining ketamine treatments with high doses of alcohol could lead to death, breathing issues, heart problems, and other serious ailments.

Pro: Lasting effects

One of the most fascinating things about ketamine treatment for PTSD and other mental health disorders, is that a pre-set number of doses can provide lasting treatment for the remainder of the patient’s life. At Long Island Ketamine Infusions, we offer cycles that consist of six treatments. The drug is administered every 2-3 weeks depending on the patient. Patients who have completed this program have reported a complete lack of anxiety, flashbacks, and other symptoms that are associated with PTSD.

Con: Ketamine must be carefully monitored

Monitoring ketamine infusions is far more involved than simply handing a patient a prescription and scheduling annual checkups. Due to the mind-altering experience that ketamine produces after administration, it is important for a medical professional to be present so that the patient does not become overwhelmed by the feeling or harm themself by accident. Additionally, patients should be provided with an emotional outlet in the moments after the mind has settled into its normal state so that they can share their experiences on the medication. This therapeutic aspect is a unique part of ketamine treatment. Fortunately, patients are only required to visit a clinic once every several weeks to receive the infusion.

Your mental health and overall well-being is our priority. Contact us today to learn more about ketamine treatment for PTSD.