Anxiety is tough to live with. Some people get great results from anxiety medications. Others get relief when they seek therapy or when they use natural remedies like CBD. But what if you have tried all of these conventional options and still feel crippled by your anxiety? Then, it might be time to consider something more modern: ketamine therapy. Here's the key information you need to know when starting to consider this treatment.
What is ketamine, and how does it work?
Ketamine is a drug that has been used, for many years, as an anesthetic medication. More recently, doctors have begun using it to treat mental health disorders including anxiety and depression. It is thought to work by increasing the amount of glutamate in your brain. By increasing glutamate levels, ketamine makes you better able to make positive changes to your thought processes. For example, you will be better able to make changes that result in fewer anxious thoughts and a calmer disposition.
How is ketamine administered?
There are two different ways that ketamine can be used for anxiety. The first is via an IV. You'd visit a doctor's office, and you'd rest in a bed while ketamine is dripped into your vein via an IV.
The other option is to take oral ketamine tablets. You'll be prescribed tablets, which contain a low dose of ketamine, and you'll be instructed to take them on a daily basis.
Which form of ketamine your doctor prescribes will depend on how severe your anxiety is, your willingness to have an IV, and what your insurance will cover. Many patients get an initial IV and then follow up with oral ketamine treatments.
Does ketamine cause any side effects?
Many people who take ketamine for anxiety do not deal with any bothersome side effects. However, some do notice that their blood pressure increases during or after ketamine treatment. A doctor will therefore monitor your blood pressure while you're taking ketamine. Another side effect can be vomiting and nausea. Usually, these feelings pass as the ketamine gets out of your system. You may feel exhausted and sleepy while on ketamine and also after an intensive IV session.
If you have stubborn anxiety, talk to your doctor about using ketamine for anxiety. They can tell you more about the safety of this medication and how it works. They can also help you decide whether this treatment is right for you.