Ketamine is a rapid acting antidepressant. Unlike traditional antidepressants that take up to six weeks to experience improvement in symptoms, patients treated with ketamine begin experiencing improvement after a single infusion. Most patients experience relief within 24 to 36 hours. In addition, ketamine also rapidly decreases suicidal ideation.
To help evaluate your response to treatment, we will ask you to document the way you feel before and after treatment. We encourage you to involve as many people as possible in your treatment, including friends, family, physicians and mental health care providers.
It is important to recognize that, although very effective, ketamine is not a cure for depression. Like any other chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension, depression requires ongoing treatment. In some studies, up to 40% of patients experience a full recovery after a series of ketamine infusions. However, a majority of patients will experience a relapse within 3 months. Patients with subsequent depressive episodes respond well to a single repeat infusion of ketamine.