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Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy

Ketamine has gained popularity as a depression treatment in recent years due to its fast-acting nature. Compared to antidepressants and TMS – which take from four to six weeks to achieve maximum effect – ketamine does seem nearly instantaneous. With ketamine, many patients report feeling significant relief from depression within hours of first treatment. Most patients report feeling significant relief within two to four days after beginning ketamine treatment.

Ketamine is an anesthetic which induces a dissociative effect that can be used to treat depression. It has been shown to be especially effective for patients who have not responded well to other treatment options, such as antidepressant medication or therapy.

Ketamine Treatment for Depression

Ketamine treatment for depressionWhen used as a psychiatric treatment, ketamine creates a state of neuroplasticity in the brain, a temporary condition where the brain is more flexible and amenable to new connections. A trained psychotherapist can take advantage of this period of neuroplasticity to help a patient make significant progress to change cognitive behaviors, patterns, and thoughts that lead to depression.

Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy combines the benefit of ketamine treatment for depression with the additional benefit of progress through psychotherapy. Many patients find that the dissociative effect of ketamine makes it easier to process difficult thoughts and emotions, particularly those related to past trauma.

Ketamine infusion therapy as a treatment for clinical depression is still relatively new, but recent studies have shown it to have acute beneficial effects on 70 percent of clinically depressed patients. Studies have shown that a low dose of ketamine, along with proper therapeutic and medical oversight, can have dramatic positive effects on clinical depression and suicidal ideation, especially in cases that do not respond to standard treatment.

For many patients, ketamine is the bridge that allows them to finally cross over from a dark, depressive state into a healthier state of mind where they can finally achieve remission from depression.

Am I a Good Candidate for Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy?

At Ampelis Health, we use ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to help patients experiencing severe or chronic depression. Ketamine will typically be prescribed if other treatments have been tried without a satisfactory outcome. It may also be prescribed if patients are experiencing a severe depressive episode, particularly if there is concern about potential self-harm.

Ketamine treatment may also be prescribed together with TMS treatment. The rapid-acting effect of ketamine helps prepare the patient for the longer-term relief provided by TMS. Ketamine may be used together with TMS, antidepressants, or other treatments to help patients achieve a full remission from depression.

Other considerations

Ketamine is safe and effective and is an FDA-approved medication. However, because it is a generic drug, no pharmaceutical company has a financial incentive to undertake the significant cost to receive FDA approval for ketamine as a depression treatment. Even though ketamine has demonstrated its effectiveness both clinically and in research studies, ketamine for depression treatment remains an off-label usage.

As an off-label treatment, ketamine treatment for depression is not covered by insurance companies, making it a cash pay treatment. This is true for all providers offering ketamine infusion treatment for depression – it is not unique to Ampelis Health. Even though it is an out-of-pocket expense, tens of thousands of patients choose ketamine due to its tremendous potential for depression relief.

Where to Get Ketamine Treatment in Utah

Coming Soon! Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) will be available soon at our Highland and South Ogden clinics.



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