Mayo Clinic Connect
Does anyone have any experience with ketamine treatments? Either as part of a clinical trial or otherwise?
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.
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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, 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.
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?
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor
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.
Liked by Lisa Lucier
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.
Thank You Lisa.
I went through the IV ketamine treatments about 3 weeks ago. It cleared up the major depression that I have had for 30 years. I am no longer on medication for depression and am working on getting my anxiety under control. It has been a dramatic change in how I feel. Now I am trying to put my life back together. It was $2,400 for the six treatments since it wasn't covered by insurance but it was the best money I have spent. I wish it had been available years ago.
Liked by teetee7, kelster69
I am trying to start esketamine treatments for depression/anxiety, which is long-term without medication relief. Does anyone know how Medicare is handling these claims, in general?
Thanks for any responses.
@mandrake70 , I'm interested to know if you are still doing ketamine infusions? I started doing them last August as well. They worked great for a couple of months. Even when I went in every 2-3 weeks, they stopped working, for the most part. I've had a lot of major life stressors, like both of my parents dying within 3 months of each other. I think the stress of all that's gone on for me in the past few years has made my brain unable to repair itself. I realized that where I was going was a ketamine mill. They never monitored my dosing and left me alone in the room, even after removing the needle. I am considering going to a clinic that is much more careful and meticulous about dosing and their patients' mental health status all throughout the treatments. I wanted to see how you're doing a year later. Thanks in advance.
Hi @kelster69, I am sorry to hear they are no longer working. It does sound like the clinic you are going to isn't a good one. That is an issue with insurance not covering this and a lot of doctor's not recognizing that it works for some people. The fact that it did seem to work initially would seem to me like it should keep working though you are going through a real crappy time. My cousin also does the ketamine IVs every three months and then uses the nasal spray in between treatments. That could be an option.
The death of your parents is enough to set anyone into a depression. It's possible that the ketamine is still working for you, but that you are going through a natural grieving process right now which feels just like depression. I'm not a psychiatrist so I could be completely wrong here. I do remember being told that the ketamine will help but if you are going through a lot of stressors, you can fall right back into depression even with the treatments. Are you seeing a therapist or someone to talk to about the grief and other issues? Medication can do a lot but so can talking to people about the problems.
As for how I am doing, I got back with my wife for almost a year and then she was right back to the same crap as before, though with yelling at my daughter for getting a 4 instead of a 5 on her AP global exam. The ketamine is working fine for me still. I am actually handling things better though I still have a lot of down days. Those down days are still so much better than before. I go to a pretty good clinic in Rochester, NY. I do wish that the FDA would approve the treatment but there isn't any money for big pharma so there won't be any trials done.
I really hope that you can find some relief from the depression.
Liked by kelster69
To @hopeful123: Many thanks for posting the info. on Ketamine nasal spray. You are very lucky to have access to it. I am waiting for it to be available in the pharmacy after FDA approval. Don't know when that will happen. Hope and pray it happens soon. Thanks.
Is the nasal spray a milder form of the infusion? I was told infusion requires hospital stay for observation. Does nasal spray require hospitalization?
@marjou The nasal spray uses one of the ketamine molecules while the IV infusion uses two so it is possible that the nasal infusion won't work for you but the IV will. I went with the IV since it was available and had better results. If doesn't require a hospital stay. I go to the clinic with a family member so they can drive me home. I go in, get the treatment which lasts about an hour, and go home. The nasal spray, from what I recall reading, also requires you go into the clinic or doctor's office, be treated, and then driven home. There was some talk about having the nasal spray available for home use but the belief was that people would abuse it like Special K.
Thank you :). I’m exploring it in connection with treatment resistant (Major Depressive Disorder) or MDD.
I have MDD. I had 2 ketamine infusions and did not respond. I was more depressed as I put so much hope and faith into it. Many people have had success though.
Hi @dcs3, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am glad you could join our conversation. I am sad to hear the infusions did not work for you, but you have come to the right place to share your experiences with members that have similar medical history. For those who don't know, can you explain what MDD is?
Liked by John, Volunteer Mentor, marjou
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