How Long Does Ketamine Work For Depression?

Team Health Cages

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how long does ketamine work for depression

Ketamine is a strong medicine that seems to help people who are sad and don’t feel better with other treatments. It works fast, often making things better for a few days or weeks after just one dose through a vein. But, the good effects don’t last forever, so you might need more doses. Scientists are still figuring out how long it works. If you’re thinking about trying ketamine, it’s important to talk to mental health experts for the best plan for you.

In this blog, we discuss these topics:

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine first began in Belgium in the 1960s as a medicine to make animals sleep during surgeries. In 1970, the FDA said it was okay for people to use it as anesthesia. During the Vietnam War, it helped treat the hurt and wounded.

If someone is upset or anxious, like after being saved from trying to hurt themselves, paramedics might give them ketamine. Dr. Ken Stewart explains that doctors found out it could help a lot with feeling very sad and thinking about hurting oneself.

If someone is about to jump off a bridge, and the ambulance gives them ketamine to help them relax, after 9 months, they might say, “I haven’t felt like hurting myself for 9 months.”

“When many stories like that kept coming up, doctors thought, ‘Maybe there’s something important here,'” says Stewart, who works in the emergency room and started Insight Ketamine in Santa Fe, NM. Stewart began his medical career by helping in the Vietnam War. Some doctors also use ketamine to help people who are thinking about hurting themselves.

Ketamine makes people have what doctors call a “dissociative experience,” but others might just call it a “trip.” That’s why it’s also used as a club drug, known by names like K, Special K, Super K, and Vitamin K. People at parties might inject it, mix it in drinks, snort it, or add it to joints or cigarettes.

Ketamine Treatment for Depression

Ketamine is a special medicine that can quickly help people who haven’t felt better with other depression treatments. How fast does ketamine work for depression? Well, it can start making people feel less sad just a few hours after getting it, and this better feeling can stick around for days to weeks.

Treating depression with ketamine means giving it to a person through a needle in their vein, a spray in their nose, or as tablets to swallow. How much and how often someone gets treated depends on their condition, how well they’re responding, and their medical background.

Research tells us that using ketamine helps about 70 out of 100 people with depression who didn’t get better with other treatments. But it might not work for everyone, and how long it keeps making people feel less sad can be different for each person.

It’s important to know that using ketamine for depression doesn’t make it go away completely. It’s a way to quickly help people with really strong feelings of sadness. Usually, it’s used along with other things like talking to someone and taking medicine to help handle depression and make mental health better.

If you’re thinking about using ketamine for depression, it’s really important to talk to a healthcare expert. They will look at your medical past, understand how you’re feeling, and decide if ketamine treatment is a good idea for you. They can also share more details about how it might help and any possible problems it could cause.

How Long Does Ketamine Work For Depression?

Ketamine works quickly to help with depression, making people feel better in just a few hours to a couple of days. This is much faster than regular depression medicines, which can take weeks or months to show results. But how long it takes can be different for each person. Some may feel better for a few days, while others might need more treatments to keep feeling good. It’s important to talk to a doctor about how ketamine can help and what’s right for each person.

Sometimes, just one dose of ketamine can make someone with depression feel better for a few days to a couple of weeks. To make this feeling last longer, they might need a few more doses spread out over time. How often they need these extra doses can vary. Some might need them every few weeks or months to keep feeling better from the antidepressant effects of ketamine. It’s important to work with a doctor to figure out the right plan for each person.

It’s very important to know that when people use ketamine for depression, doctors usually watch over them and make sure it happens in a safe place. Scientists are still studying how well ketamine works for depression in the long run. Doctors will make a plan for each person based on how they react to the treatment. Always talk to a doctor to understand the good and not-so-good parts of using ketamine for depression.

Ketamine’s Antidepressant Effects

Ketamine works quickly to help with depression. Unlike regular depression medicines that take a long time to work, ketamine can make people feel better within just a few hours to a couple of days. It’s especially helpful when other treatments haven’t worked. Scientists are still figuring out exactly how ketamine helps with depression, but they think it does something special in the brain. However, how long it keeps helping can be different for each person. Researchers are still studying this to find out more and figure out the best ways to use ketamine for treating depression.

Ketamine’s Impact On Mood

Ketamine can affect how someone feels, making a big and fast difference in their mood. It’s known for quickly making people feel better, especially in treating things like depression, which other medicines might take a longer time to help with.

Ketamine affects mood by doing complicated things in the brain, which helps it work quickly as an antidepressant. However, how much it helps and how long it lasts can be different for each person. Scientists are still studying exactly how ketamine makes a difference in mood and mental well-being.


Ketamine seems like it can quickly make people feel better, especially for problems like depression, which usually takes a long time to get better with regular treatments. The way it works in the brain is pretty complex, but that’s what makes it work so fast as an antidepressant.

But it’s important to know that how much and how long ketamine helps with mood can be different for each person. Ongoing research is really important because it helps us understand exactly how ketamine works in the brain to affect mood and overall mental well-being. As we learn more, it could make using ketamine for mental health better and offer new ways to help people dealing with mood problems.


Q1. How many ketamine treatments are there for depression?

A1. Some people feel better after just one treatment, but others might need a few sessions for it to keep helping them.

Q2. How does ketamine work for depression?

A2. Most research stops the initial treatment at 6 weeks. There’s no research to suggest that more than 6 weeks in a row brings more benefit.

Q3. Does ketamine therapy get you high?

A3. Yes, using ketamine might make you feel “high” or see things differently, but when it’s used for medical reasons, doctors give it safely.

Q4. Ketamine therapy side effects?

A4. Using ketamine for therapy can cause side effects like feeling sick, dizzy, confused, or seeing things differently. Before getting ketamine treatment, talk to your doctor about these possible side effects.

Q5. Ketamine for depression?

A5. Ketamine is sometimes used to treat depression.