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Does anyone have any experience with ketamine treatments? Either as part of a clinical trial or otherwise?
FDA Approves Ketamine-Related Drug for Depression
The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug for depression that could be the first in a wave of long-awaited treatments, but that has also raised concerns about abuse.
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Thrilled that esketamine/Spravato was approved by the FDA. I participated in the clinical trial and my improvement was dramatic. Been waiting for this announcement for 2 1/2 yrs. I think that the regulations are going to all but kill the possibility of abuse. My main concerns are where I'll be able to get it and which insurance companies will cover it. Phase 2 of the waiting game has begun.
Hi, @spluck – thanks for sharing your experience on the esketamine clinical trial.
You mentioned your experience was dramatic. Will you share a little about how you were doing before the trial and how this medication affected your situation?
Happy to share.
Made a suicide attempt years ago. Self-medicated with alcohol for about 15 yrs (that stopped 25+ yrs ago). Took all the meds they prescribed over the years. None helped. I eventually became convinced that nothing would ever help. For the decade preceding the trial, I was an overweight, heavy-smoking recluse with daily suicidal ideation. I left my house only to buy cigarettes and see my counselor. In 2013, things got worse when my husband passed away. I had to move and I have no close friends.
During the trial, I quit smoking cold turkey and lost 30lbs. Most importantly, I went out almost every single day, mostly with my sister. At first it was stressful but my anxiety level dropped quickly. Went to movies, restaurants, museums, plays, stores … the depression nearly evaporated. I stopped being afraid of and overwhelmed by everything. I stopped thinking about suicide. I was able to enjoy things. I had a life. I was no longer ruled by screwed up brain chemistry and I never felt medicated. When I was dosed, I experienced slight dizziness, sneezing, post-nasal drip and tinnitus, all of which subsided within minutes. There were no other side effects. Esketamine did not make me high and I felt no disassociation. (not true for others) The dose was perfect for me. I lucked out in a big way.
Post-trial, the depression returned immediately and was full blown within a few weeks. I started smoking again, gained the weight back and rarely leave my house. I am typing this from my bed, where I spend 99% of my time. I don't answer my phone most of the time, my room is always dark, my eating habits are terrible and I'm in poor physical shape due to being sedentary. My suicide plan is in place but for 2.5 years I've been clinging desperately to the hope that some day I'll have access to esketamine again. That day is now a lot closer.
Thanks to the esketamine trial, I know that there actually IS hope for me, which helps keep the suicidal thoughts just that … thoughts only. One day at a time.
Golly, I can’t really give you any advice with this, but I am so sorry you’ve had so much to deal with. I guess the first thing that I would consider is to get to one of the top ranked teaching hospitals in the country … i.e. Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Washington Hospital Center, and I’m sure there are others that you know about. If I were at the place where you are, I do whatever it took to get a good answer and treatment plan. I’m so sorry, and I’ll be praying for you.
I am very depressed over my medical condition, added to that I have PTSD, almost trapped in home, medical. Would you have any information on the Patients Perspective?
Hi, @kimspr3 – that sounds very rough to feel almost trapped in your home and very depressed. Just wanted to clarify about your question on information on the patient's perspective. Were you looking for a patient perspective on ketamine treatment, or something else?
Hi, Thank You for thinking of me. I was thinking of the ketamine treatment. I've learned about during my researching. I know I'm a mess from PTSD but did EST make me worse???? Would that help? I DON'T WANT TO BE DEPENDENT ON ANY ONE. I have always done things myself so I owe no one anything and nothing can be thrown in my face.
Thank You for the information on esketamine. I tried to take my life at 15 years but I don't remember why? 2 other times. I knew when I was getting there again so I admitted myself to a good hospital. It crosses my mind I have to admit but now, I'm scared. Do you see a Psychiatrist for It.
Hi, @kimspr3 – Hoping that other members who have looked into ketamine/esketamine will respond and tell you about their experiences, like @mikecranny @dstewart318 @czechmate @pankaj @amberpep @hopeful123. @gingerw may also have some input on ketamine/esketamine and treatment for depression/PTSD.
Have you talked to your doctor about the possibility of treatment with this medication, kimspr3?
Hi Lisa, I'm going to ask my Primary about the treatments. I need something, Pain is pretty bad. In the past I contacted Mayo Clinic trying to find a doctor, research, something to no avail. As soon as the staff hears about my disease doors are closed. Or they tell me they will ask the Dr., calls me back, dr. doesn't treat that. Another Negative. I have Adhesive Arachnoiditis. My experience, those 2 words, they run.
@lisalucier thank you for tagging me in this post. Unfortunately, I have not had any experience using ketamine at all for any reason so I cannot offer input. I do know anxiety and PTSD can be stifling and life-altering. And any means to alleviate helps, knowing that each person is different.
Hi Kim. I dropped my psychiatrist because she was ineffective. Pushed for me to try IV ketamine, which I specifically told her I had no desire to do. I'm seeing a counselor weekly. Thankfully, I like him very much. Not on any meds. Only 2 practices in my general area are prescribing esketamine. They're located in an upscale town – very expensive ($650 for an initial consult). The drug isn't covered by insurance and neither are the consults so I have no access to it. I'm just taking things one day at a time and trying to hang in there.
Hello spluck, your information is so helpful. I made my decision. "No." I had best Psychologists, 2, who were rare, "so good" and perfect for me. I started seeing Psy. when Was 15. I have lots of experience. In and out of therapy not really helped. I knew they did not except Medicare thought I could pay but not every week at $175. and $150. I can not find a therapist that asks the right questions, not talk to me about their lives. I see a Therapist now about once a month. She's OK but not great. Excepts Medicare. Thank You for your help.
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