Hoping for an IV Ketamine Treatment Referral?
Recently, we talked about reasons some doctors may be reluctant to provide IV ketamine treatment for psychiatric mood disorders. We talked about how difficult it is to harvest all the information about ketamine for depression on the internet and become informed. No drug company spends millions of dollars in marketing a drug they won’t profit from. So there aren’t the usual easy-to-digest brochures and videos that help a doctor assimilate the information quickly. And there’s so much out there!
Over 1200 papers, thousands of pages, that require trainloads of nights and weekends to study. When does a busy physician ingest all that?
Skepticism about Prescribing Off-Label
We also talked about the skepticism of doctors who want to see more solid long term studies. Studies with large numbers of subjects followed for years to see what long-term side effects might arise.
In addition, we talked about what an enormous undertaking it is to set up a practice or clinic for IV ketamine infusions. The protocols, the staff, the expensive equipment for monitoring and delivering the infusion. Plus the extra office space, the federal and state regulations that have to be followed regarding storage of a controlled substance, biohazardous waste, etc.
It can be overwhelming for a psychiatrist who is accustomed to a practice of verbal evaluations and 15 minute med checks.
To make a long story short, some psychiatrists aren’t that eager to prescribe a drug off-label. They want to see more studies, and they want to be sure it’s safe. Not to mention the fact that there’s fear of abuse.
Ketamine for Depression is Spreading by Word of Mouth
And this is the reason doctors who are currently treating their patients with ketamine for psychiatric mood disorders are publishing their results.
We want you and your doctor to have the benefit of our experiences with our patients, the methods we’ve found to be the most effective and safe, and the reports of our patients after treatment.
Because as we mentioned in the prior article, since pharmaceutical companies can’t make a huge profit with a drug that’s off patent, doctors everywhere just aren’t receiving all the usual aids offered to familiarize us with all the data about ketamine.
Without Pharmaceutical Billions, Ketamine Resorts to Grass Roots
So it’s become more of a grass roots movement, if you will, to share information with each other, with neuroscientists, and with the public, and raise awareness of the effectiveness of treatment with ketamine for psychiatric mood disorders, like depression and anxiety.
Using the best practices encouraged by the Consensus Statement of the American Psychiatric Association Council of Research Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments, psychiatrists across the US and around the world, are finding ketamine treatment to have rapid and robust antidepressant results. And their patients are enjoying restored lives, restored enjoyment, and restored hope.
Ketamine’s Short Duration: A Solution that Restores Joy in Life
Some professionals caution that ketamine treatment has a short duration. But, psychiatrists and the anesthesiologists who’ve been using ketamine for decades, have made a discovery. And that is that approximately 6 infusions over a 2-week period seems to “stack up” enough of ketamine’s benefits that they last far more than just six times longer than one infusion. Like a synergistic treatment cluster.
For many patients, this regimen brings more than improvement… it brings remission. For others, as long as there are maintenance doses to keep ketamine’s actions working, their lives are lived as if they’re well. Really well.
So with so many doctors treating hundreds and thousands of patients with extraordinary results, why isn’t word spreading faster?
Frustrating, isn’t it?
“Will my doctor give me an IV ketamine treatment referral?”
Sorting Through the Literature
You hope so. But understand that your doctor may need more time to come to an informed and confident opinion about ketamine treatment. It may have a lot to do with the information he or she has found on the subject. She may be reading peer-reviewed studies as she gets time. Or he may have run into some articles that present vague results. But encourage them to keep researching. Because there are plenty of professional journals publishing exciting findings, even though there are some articles that are less optimistic.
In fact, there are dozens of articles across the internet, written about ketamine treatment by biased individuals. Those who either aren’t medical professionals, or are biased without experience with ketamine. And these articles influence those seeking information, and sour them against recognizing the facts when they see them.
When people form opinions without building them upon a foundation of neuroscience, but rather on the comments of others, prejudices form. Biases form based on impressions, opinions, hearsay… you can read examples in all sorts of forums on the web. Opinions tossed out with “impact,” but with little or no fact.
Second Opinions May be Helpful
And truth be told, while your doctor’s learning for himself what he believes about ketamine, you can learn about ketamine treatment and discuss seeking ketamine treatment. And then share your results with your doctor and with your family.
In fact, your family may suggest you let “a second set of eyes” look at you and your illness. Especially if they can see you haven’t been improving. Most doctors respect that, and it’s an ideal time to check with a doctor who offers innovative treatments like IV ketamine treatment.
Still, understand that your doctor may not feel comfortable referring you for a treatment he’s not yet confident about. But you’re responsible for your own well-being and health. In the 21st century healthcare environment, individuals have become informed about their health and wellbeing and are far more engaged in looking for solutions than ever before. And you can choose to seek out physicians who do offer ketamine treatment, then report your results back to your doctor. By doing that, you’ll give him a data point to build his own research around.
It’s true that some doctors have been known to react to a patient’s stepping away from their recommendations. And that’s a shame, if their advice has not helped you recover. It’s also true that you as the patient are the person actually living with your symptoms. And enduring them. I daresay, you should not be punished for actively seeking a better quality of life.
The same is true if you’re a parent of a teen who struggles with a mood disorder. An example is with treatment-resistant bipolar depression. Since research shows that early treatment gives your child the best hope of getting better, as a parent you probably feel compelled to find the solution that really works.
IV Ketamine Treatment for Depression – Experimental?
Ketamine treatment is still considered “experimental” by some psychiatrists, but for those of us who have seen extraordinary success in the lives of so many patients, it’s become a relied upon and almost miraculous solution.
The consensus statement by the task force mentioned above points out that more studies are needed with large populations. True. Of course that’s true. But, the task force members also laud the results of IV ketamine treatment with their own patients. The guidelines they suggest for providing ketamine were not to discourage doctors from using it, but rather to encourage doctors who offer it to offer it within safe parameters.
At Innovative Psychiatry, we use the same careful monitoring and other safeguards recommended by the APA task force, as well as others, and have for years. We’ve seen very positive responses in 80% of our patients who have been failed by traditional antidepressants over the long term.
They’re amazed at the continuous improvement in their lives, their relationships, and their enjoyment of life.
We’re here to help you find joy in life again.
To the emerging of your best self,
Lori Calabrese, M.D.