Ketamine Therapy @ Medahead
Our team of qualified and accredited sedationists offer ketamine infusions to combat treatment resistant depression (TRD) and other pain syndromes, in collaboration with your treating specialist.
Studies have shown that nearly 20% of the population will experience depression at some point in their life, and more than half of those will not receive the assistance they require. The good news is that depression can be treated. The vast majority of people suffering from depression eventually respond well to treatment and almost all patients gain at least some relief from their symptoms. Unfortunately, approximately 30% of patients with major depression or bipolar disorder will experience treatment resistant depression.
Treatment resistant depression (TRD) refers to the condition of a patient who has not responded to adequate dosages of different antidepressants or pharmacotherapy, taken for a sufficient duration of time. It does not mean that "there is no hope", however, but rather that the depression is harder to treat in these cases.
Various treatment options exist, such as optimizing, switching, combining and augmenting treatments as well as somatic therapies. Each patient is usually treated according to a personlised plan, since one size does not fit all, especially for treatment resistant disorders.
At Medahead, you can receive ketamine therapy as a specialised treatment modality in the fight against treatment resistant depression or pain syndromes.
When is ketamine therapy appropriate
The consensus statement by the American Medical Association and Psychiatry
Society states that:
Several studies now provide evidence of Ketamine
Hydrochloride's ability to produce rapid and robust antidepressant effects in
patients with mood and anxiety disorders that were previously resistant to
First steps if you suspect that your are suffering from treatment resistant depression or pain syndromes
The first step is to consult your general healthcare practitioner for a referral to a psychiatrist or pain specialist. The treating specialist will be the best judge to decide if you fit the criteria of treatment resistant disorder.
The specialist will screen you for the suitability of ketamine therapy as well as the potential success. We request a referral letter from your specialist indicating the need for ketamine therapy. It is extremely important that your specialist remains the treating and decision-making physician in order to manage your treatment resistant illness appropriately.
What to expect during your first consultation at Medahead
- A complete medical history and examination.
- A standard ECG to evaluate for potential arrthythmias (irregular and fast heart rhythm).
- Blood tests if not done in the last three months (electrolytes and kidney function) to evaluate potential problems with metabolism or arrhythmias.
- You will receive a motivation letter to submit to your medical aid requesting authorization - if granted the funds are usually deducted from your MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT (MSA) or DAY-TO-DAY benefits.
- We will discuss the potential effects as well as possible side effects of the particular treatment together and you will have time to ask questions.
- Infusion appointments will be made according to the general infusion plan (twice weekly for two weeks and then weekly for 6 weeks) followed by maintenance treatments in most cases.
- You will receive a consent form and a pre- and post-ketamine infusion instruction form which should be studied and signed.
What happens during ketamine infusion days
- Bookings last approximately two hours to allow for monitoring of the effect as well as safety for discharge.
- Ensuring the pre- and post-ketamine infustion instruction compliance (such as designated driver).
- An infusion (drip needle) will be inserted in either your arm or hand and the medication will be administered.
- You will be monitored during and after the infusion until it is deemed safe to discharge you in the care of a designated driver to return back home, and you should preferably remain in the presence of an adult for the remainder of the day.
- The needle will have to be removed and a new needle will be inserted during your next visit.