Talk therapies and medications like antidepressants can be effective treatments for many people with mental health disorders. However, if they’re not working for you, Rand McClain, DO, and his team at Regenerative & Sports Medicine can help. At their office in Santa Monica, California they offer ketamine therapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To find out how ketamine could work for you, call the office or book an appointment online today.


What is ketamine therapy?

Ketamine therapy is a relatively new approach to treating mental health problems like major depressive disorder (depression), anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ketamine is an anesthetic that’s often given to children because of its relative safety. It’s also helpful for chronic pain conditions. More recently, ketamine has been getting a lot of attention for successfully addressing treatment-resistant depression.

In addition to being safe and cost-effective, ketamine therapy also produces rapid results. Many patients find their symptoms improve following the first course of treatment, within days or even hours.

How does ketamine therapy work?

Researchers are still finding out exactly how ketamine works to treat depression. It appears that Ketamine triggers brain restructuring, creating new thought pathways (synapses). This is known as increased neuronal plasticity.

Within your brain, ketamine also acts on a neurotransmitter — a chemical that sends messages to other parts of the brain. The neurotransmitter ketamine affects is glutamate, which is a stimulant. Ketamine blocks glutamate, which reduces the overactivity in your brain that’s typical of PTSD.

These actions improve mood and enhance the effectiveness of talk therapies. They offer a safe treatment for depression when other treatments aren’t helping.

What happens when I have ketamine therapy?

There are two ways to receive ketamine therapy. One is by using a spray (Spravato®) that goes up your nose. Another is IV (intravenous) therapy. An IV is a line that goes in your arm vein. The ketamine solution drips slowly into your bloodstream through the line.

Both treatments require qualified medical administration and supervision to ensure you don’t experience any adverse effects (although these are rare). A typical ketamine treatment includes six 40-50 minute infusions over two to three weeks. For maintenance, it’s usually one 40-50 minute infusion every three to four weeks.

Am I a suitable candidate for ketamine therapy?

Ketamine therapy works best for patients who are generally in good health but have severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD. It’s not the first treatment recommended because other methods work very well for many people.

A combination of oral medication and talk therapy can treat all these conditions. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicine come in many forms, so there are plenty of others to try even if the first doesn’t work. Similarly, there are numerous approaches to talk therapy, from interpersonal psychotherapy to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

If you’ve tried different medications and other therapies without success, the Regenerative & Sports Medicine team can see if ketamine therapy would be a good fit for you.

To find out more about ketamine therapy and how it can relieve your treatment-resistant mental health problems, call the Regenerative & Sports Medicine office in Santa Monica, California,or Houston, Texas to  book an appointment online today.