What Is Ketamine?
IV Ketamine treatments for treatment-resistant depression are “perhaps the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,” according to Dr. Thomas Insel, the former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been widely recognized as one of the most effective, rapidly acting and safe medications available for treatment of depression.
When patients have failed to respond to numerous medication trials, Ketamine has been found in numerous studies to help significantly with suicidal thoughts and severe depressive symptoms. Ketamine treatments for depression have been used extensively all across the United States for over the past 15 years.
Dr. Handoo was recently featured on Fox 4 News discussing IV ketamine treatments for treatment-resistant depression.
How Does Ketamine Work
Ketamine is usually given as a single intravenous infusion over a 40-minute period.
Studies show that Ketamine produces a rapid and sustained reduction in severe depressive symptoms. Research has shown that Ketamine infusions work by blocking NMDA receptors for glutamate, a different mechanism from most modern antidepressants that operate on other targets.
The Ketamine Infusion Process
Patients come for IV ketamine treatments once a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 6 weeks in a row to Interpersonal Psychiatry’s office at 1010 Carondelet Drive, Suite 329, Kansas City, MO 64114. Dr. Handoo has seen the greatest success and best long-term results with patients coming once a week for 6 weeks in a row, as opposed to 6 sessions over a 2 or 3 week period.
Dr. Handoo has performed IV ketamine treatments for hundreds of patients over the years and is one of the most experienced ketamine psychiatrists in the region. He personally sees all IV ketamine patients before and after each ketamine treatment to come up with the correct IV ketamine dosage for them. Dr. Handoo is a member of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians and is in touch with leading ketamine providers across the country to provide the best care for his patients.
“Ketamine truly saved my life. I have been depressed since my early 30s but severely depressed since my early 40s (I am currently 43). I have tried multiple medications, combinations of medications, therapy, etc., and I still had suicidal thoughts almost daily. I took 6 weeks of Ketamine, beginning in late March, and my entire life has changed. I talk to people again; I am working 2 jobs; I work while I’m at home, rather than just going to my room and sleeping; and I truly feel as if I have my life back. Taking Ketamine was the best decision I have ever made.”
– 43 years old, Pleasant Hill, Missouri
“I was searching for anything that would work to alleviate a major depressive episode. I was barely able to get out of bed and had disconnected from my life. In looking through messaging boards, I was pleased to find Dr. Handoo was offering the treatment in Kansas City. I had thought I would need to travel to receive it. The treatments were completely tolerable, even pleasurable. I am depression free and have been for three months. The relief is incredible. I highly recommend this practice.”
– 40 years old, Leawood, Kansas
“I have suffered from depression for almost 20 years, with skyrocketing severity 13 years ago after a very traumatic life event. I had tried every medication, countless combinations of medications, have been in therapy, have been hospitalized and even went through a course of ECT, but there I was, always seeming to be in the same horrible dark place. After 6 Ketamine sessions, I finally, slowly, seemed to be coming out of darkness and despair I had been in for so long. As another couple months have passed since the end of treatment, I feel almost back to what I barely remember ‘normal’ feeling like so long ago. It has done something for me that I thought it would literally take a miracle to do after having been suffering
for so long–not just made me feel tolerably better than horrible, but honestly made me feel GOOD again!”
– 46 years old, Kansas City, Missouri
“I have been experiencing depression for almost 30 years now, ever since elementary school. I have tried several medications and years of counseling, but the severe depression still came in waves with times in between being melancholy at best. I was having suicidal thoughts over 90% of each day. Since my Ketamine treatments, I now feel like a new person experiencing a happiness I never knew existed. My friends, family, and co-workers have all noticed tremendous changes in my demeanor, and I haven’t once thought about suicide. I have so much more energy and enthusiasm that I am experiencing life in a whole new way! Even my children have commented ‘Dad, I’m glad you’re not sad anymore.’ Ketamine has not only been life changing, but also lifesaving.”
34 years old, Blue Springs, MO
“Without a doubt, undergoing ketamine treatment was one of the the best decisions I’ve made in my life. After six weeks of ketamine treatments (and now a couple weeks after), I have zero depression. I have zero anxiety. This after YEARS of a daily, unrelenting struggle to keep depression and anxiety from destroying my life, relationships, and work, Ketamine has been an incredible “Easy Button” that has done for my brain chemistry what all my own efforts could never achieve, and what traditional anti-depressants had almost destroyed. I had been dealing with acute depression for three years, and had made an effort to do everything “right.” Regular counseling, exercise, and medications. My Direct Primary Care doctor, who knew Dr. Handoo, said it was time for Ketamine. I knew of it, and had been researching it for a year, but I had no idea that a psychiatrist-based treatment clinic was five minutes from my house! At my first visit, my PHQ-9 depression score was at a 26. Pretty much as severe as you can get.
Within 10 days, I had my first infusion. I was scared before the first one (didn’t sleep a wink the night before), but I found the infusions to be the most relieving, uplifting, incredible experiences. The nurse, Shannon, was so friendly and welcoming. I never felt unsafe or “tripped out”. No scary hallucinations at all. Just float-y, free feeling, and just pretty interested in the lights and shapes I saw when I closed my eyes. Because it’s a smaller dose than anesthesia, I could always open my eyes, see and know where I was, breathe on my own, and use relaxation techniques to just enjoy the experience. Dr. Handoo always checked in at the end to see how it went, and then take it easy for the rest of the day. I was always in-and-out of the office within 2 hours.
Not everyone may have such immediate effects, but for me, Ketamine was a swift, incredibly effective treatment. Now my PHQ-9 score ranges from 0-1. I have my life back, and though it will take a long time of feeling good to undo a long time of feeling bad, I have no problem getting through my work, enjoying my relationships, and taking care of myself. I can see my future again, and I am grateful for Dr. Handoo’s work with Ketamine for making this a reality for me. “
34 years old, Leawood, KS
“6 weeks of ketamine therapy has marked the beginning of a new life for me. It took about a month after my last infusion before I felt a significant change and the results are surreal. I fought depression for over 20 years, my first suicide attempt was at age 11. I went from 7 pills twice a day to 1 pill! My previous doctors just prescribed more and more drugs and I was getting worse. Since the ketamine treatments my PHQ-9 went from 27 down to 1. My friends and family can tell a huge difference, I’m back to being more spontaneous, active and outgoing. I highly recommend ketamine treatment to everyone who needs it.”
31 years old, Kansas City, MO
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