Depression Specialist

Avesta Ketamine and Wellness

Anesthesiology & Ketamine Infusion Clinic located in McLean, VA, Bethesda, MD

Depression is the most common mood disorder, but experiencing it for yourself can make you feel intensely isolated and alone. At Avesta Ketamine and Wellness in McLean, Virginia, and Bethesda, Maryland, the providers use ketamine, formerly just a sedative for medical procedures, to help you manage your depression and resulting suicidal thoughts. To learn more about how ketamine can quickly treat symptoms of depression, schedule a consultation by phone or online at either location today.

Depression Q & A

What is depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder that people tend to associate with ongoing sadness and hopelessness. This is a very simplified view of the disorder, which can cause much more than a few negative thoughts and feelings. It can also cause:

  • Lack of motivation and interest
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Guilt
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Weight fluctuations

The effects of depression on your life and your perception of it can be widespread and very serious without a way to effectively manage your symptoms. While psychological counseling combined with antidepressant medications is the typical approach to treat the condition, around 30% of patients on this track still cannot find relief. 

How does ketamine work to treat depression?

Ketamine IV infusions are a relatively new yet very effective way to treat depressive symptoms. Even if your depression resists the more standard approach to treatment, ketamine infusions are likely to give you some relief. Plus, its effects are much more rapid than other medications, which can take weeks or months to take effect. 

Ketamine works against depression by affecting the chemistry within your brain. It increases a neurotransmitter called glutamate, which helps regulate your thoughts and emotions. Glutamate also helps your brain create and strengthen neural connections, leading to better thought processing and more positive thoughts and feelings. 

In addition to glutamate, ketamine increases a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that helps calm you down. One of the causes of depression is low glutamate and GABA, so restoring balance among these neurotransmitters helps reset your brain. 

What should I expect during ketamine IV treatments for depression?

Treating your depression with ketamine infusions is simple at Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, and the process is easy to follow. The general treatment timeline includes an induction phase of six treatment sessions, on average, which occur at regular intervals over the course of 2-3 weeks. 

You should continue with psychological counseling during this time, and with using any prescription medications you currently take. While the exact effects vary from person to person, you can expect to notice a difference around the point of the fourth or fifth infusion. 

This phase is then followed by a much more individualized maintenance phase, called booster infusions, which will extend the time between visits until patients feel stable enough to come in only as needed, if at all.

You should continue your visits to Avesta Ketamine and Wellness for ketamine booster infusions according to your provider’s instructions. Your provider determines your booster treatment intervals according to your response during the induction phase infusions.

What is Spravato®?

Spravato isn’t exactly the same as ketamine, but it has shown some positive results for depression. It’s a nasal spray containing a drug called esketamine, the S enantiomer of ketamine.

You can pick up your Spravato prescription in the pharmacy connected to Avesta Ketamine and Wellness before using it under the guidance of your provider. They monitor you for two hours in the office after you use it.

Depression can have a stronghold over your work life, home life, and relationship with yourself. To find out if you’re a good candidate to treat your depression with ketamine infusions, call Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, or book a visit online today.