Ketamine for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Ketamine for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is offered at our Save Minds. PTSD typically manifests as a debilitating anxiety disorder that is symptomatic of intrusive re-experiences of events, feeling jumpy or easily startled, and the avoidance of stimuli and situations that may remind the patient of traumatic events. PTSD patients are often depressed, whilst many others experience significant memory impairments. Considering the consistent (and at times increasing) number of military engagements globally, coupled with civilian traumas as a result, PTSD continues to affect more of global populations. Some of the common symptoms of PTSD are:

• Frequent flashbacks of traumatic events;
• Hyper vigilance;
• Traumatic nightmares;
• Distress experienced when exposed to traumatic reminders;
• Negative thinking and moods (including depression, shame and despair) that are often burdensome; and
• Avoidance of certain types of thoughts or situations.

Some advantages

When compared to other (traditional) drugs, Ketamine displays the potential to work as a treatment for major depression and patients that have not been able to seek relief from conventional methods. However, given that Ketamine Infusion Therapy is administered intravenously at 0.5mg/kg (sub-anaesthetic dose), the therapy is considered safe enough for the ‘day case’ treatments. Further still, if a patient responds positively to it, they are likely to experience an improvement in their symptoms within a period of between hours and days. This is in sharp contrast to traditional medication that typically takes between weeks and months to take effect.

It works

In a double-blind, proof-of-concept, randomized study of 41 patients suffering from chronic PTSD, a single dose of Ketamine administered using intravenous infusion (IV) has been shown to rapidly reduce symptoms of PTSD. Further, a majority of patients typically responded favourably to this type of treatment; patients may be required to attend up to six treatment sessions, spread out within a 4-6 weeks, to achieve optimal results.