Welcome to the Ketamine Advocacy Network

July 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ketamine has been shown to be an extremely effective, fast-acting treatment for certain types of severe depression.  Frequently cited as the most important breakthrough in the treatment of depression in over 50 years, researchers around the globe have demonstrated conclusively that ketamine works for a large majority of severe depression cases.  However, in the United States it is not yet widely used outside research settings.

The Ketamine Advocacy Network was created by actual depression sufferers who received ketamine treatment from medical professionals, experiencing relief after years and even decades of misery.  Our goal is to educate our fellow sufferers, their loved ones, and medical practitioners about this critical medical breakthrough.  This site will be a resource for all who wish to learn about ketamine as a treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), both bipolar and unipolar. It will provide basic info on the medical research, a directory of doctors who offer ketamine treatment, and links to other resources. Most importantly, it will provide a forum for patients to share their experiences with ketamine and build a common body of knowledge to benefit sufferers, their family members, and medical providers.

This site is strictly for the benefit of our fellow sufferers. We do not sell or endorse any products, services, or medical providers. No one is trying to make money here. We strongly support ongoing research to better understand ketamine’s mechanism of action, the neurobiology of depression, and future medications based on that knowledge.  And we are staunchly opposed to the illegal abuse of ketamine as a club drug. We just want to share knowledge and help other depression sufferers find relief.

Welcome!

 

6 responses to Welcome to the Ketamine Advocacy Network

  1. Hi everyone. I just joined so I guess the first thing I need to do is get my story out there. I’m 59 years old and was first diagnosed with depression when I was 39. My wife (at that time) walked into our bedroom and seen me sitting on the bed with a 12 gauge shotgun in my mouth and my finger on the trigger. We called a “hotline” and a couple days later I had my first visit with the shrink. She started me off on Zoloft which took a couple weeks to kick in but there is no doubt that it saved my life. I’ve been on a roller coaster with meds ever since.

    Two years ago I got into a study at a local university that was testing some new drug for depression. The results were just like everything else – it worked minimally at first but a couple months later I was back to square one. At the end of that study, they told me about another drug they hoped to test shortly. This one was something similar to ketamine that was being developed by a major pharmaceutical company. It sounded a little scary but I went for it anyway. I figured it couldn’t be too bad since, in my youthful days, I did everything but stick needles in my arms. I just figured they weren’t going to give me anything to top 4 way windowpane or purple haze. Understand that I’m not condoning such behavior. I made more than my fair share of bad decisions, particularly in my youth.

    My first two infusions were unremarkable. After the third one, though I was quite amazed. One hour after that infusion was done (as was protocol) the doctor came in and asked me how I felt. With a big grin on my face I told him that I felt incredibly relaxed but at the same time I felt like I could go outside and run around the building a couple of times. I didn’t feel “high” per se, just more like what I thought normal should be after twenty years of struggling with meds and “cognitive therapy”. My infusions were twice weekly after that and this was my new “normal” until I was done with the study. This was a double-blind study so I have no tangible proof that I was getting the actual drug but aside from how it made me feel there was pretty strong proof that I was. My blood pressure readings were very distinctly lower after the infusions than they were before. I take four blood pressure pills a day so this was no small matter.

    At the end of the study I was told that they were hoping to be involved in the next round of tests which is to be off-label. Everybody gets the real thing. I told them I want to be number one on that list – I can’t wait for it to start. Hopefully the FDA will stop being such a bunch of prudes and approve something that will give us all some well deserved relief. Maybe the liberalization of the marijuana laws out west will instill a paradigm shift in them. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

    • My story is somewhat similar, I have bipolar 2 (and all the associated neurological aches and ailments that accompany it), social anxiety disorder, ADD, depression, generalized anxiety, PMDD, and all-around awfulness.
      Zoloft was my first script, and, after 3 days passed out exhausted, and 2 more weeks of blah, I actually felt really good! It didn’t last, though, and higher doses caused mania. I stopped taking it, and was prescribed Depakote — worst thing I had ever experienced. I felt like I was being smashed into the earth by unseen forces. I stopped taking that, of course.
      Around the same time, I discovered low-dose (insufflation) ketamine therapy on my own (before the disastrous re-classification of the drug). Suddenly, no other medications were needed! It was A MIRACLE. Except it was one I couldn’t discuss with anyone and be taken seriously.
      I had 3.5 brilliant, successful, happy, healthy years without any negative side-effects, increase in use, or physiological dependency or withdrawal, or any other complications;
      the drug became unavailable (and unjustly vilified); and I have spent the last 15 years with many doctors and dozens of FDA approved meds — some helped briefly, others caused HORRIFYING side-effects.
      I know there are doctors in NYC who are prescribing low-dose nasal spray infusions. I am desperate to find them. I have a great deal of knowledge and experience that should be very enlightening for ANYONE genuinely interested in HELPING us. If anyone knows ethical doctors out there who are willing to listen and learn and help save lives, PLEASE, PLEASE respond here. I am dreadfully afraid that my life will fall apart. I do not have the money for IV infusions NOR do I think they are necessary or the best way to do this (at least for me). Health insurance doesn’t pay for any of this, but an inhaler, or two, a month would be doable, and life saving.

  2. Thanks, Ed. The effect you describe mirrors that of a successful ketamine infusion. Can you share the name of the drug that was being tested?

  3. To my knowledge it doesn’t yet have a name. I’m pretty sure the manufacturer was AstraZeneca.

  4. There is enough preliminary data to support the use of NMDA antagonism, with the use of this particular antagonist – Ketamine, beyond treatment of depression. I encourage you to extend your network and support for Ketamine use for treatments in the whole anxiety spectrum disorders for those that it is now showing promise such as PTSD and OCD.

    Thanks

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