Treating Bipolar Disorder

⅔ of people have a successful response to ketamine infusions for bipolar depression

Bipolar disorder can be a debilitating and difficult to treat illness. Similar success rates are observed for treating bipolar depression as those with with unipolar depression. Scientific studies done at the National Institute of Mental Health and academic centers throughout the world have found that over ⅔ of people have a successful response to ketamine infusions for bipolar depression. A response is generally considered to be a 50% reduction in symptom severity as measured by depression rating scales. About ⅓ of people have complete remission of their depression. Studies also show that ketamine significantly improves suicidal thoughts. People who do respond to treatment with ketamine have rapid relief of their suffering, and often feel significant and long-lasting improvements in mood and well-being within hours to days. Although ketamine does not cause or precipitate hypomania or mania, people in a current manic phase of bipolar disorder should not take ketamine as it could temporarily exacerbate those symptoms.

How long the treatment effects last depends on the individual. Clinical experience suggests that the effect of the recommended full course of 6 infusions usually lasts from weeks to months. It has been observed that people with a family history of alcohol abuse actually have much longer lasting effects. This benefit can be sustained by doing a single booster infusion as needed and determined by your individual response. Some people even find that they no longer need to take antidepressants. To solidify the gains you have from your treatment and to ensure long-lasting success, it is important to continue to see your primary physician or mental health care provider