Ketamine therapy has become increasingly popular over the past decade, earning its reputation as one of the most effective remedies for treatment-resistant depression.

With this popularity has also come scientific backing regarding the efficacy of ketamine in treating even the most severe cases of depression. However, research about ketamine’s effectiveness in treating anxious depression, specifically, has only just begun to emerge.

Anxiety and depressive disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses, and they are highly co-morbid. With regard to major depression, research has shown that approximately 45% of individuals with lifetime major depressive disorder also have a lifetime history of one or more anxiety disorders. It is important to emphasize the presence of anxiety symptoms and/or disorders when it comes to treatment, as historic data suggest there is a greater difficulty and challenge to treating patients with these co-morbidities.

In an attempt to combat these challenges, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) set out to determine how effective intravenous ketamine could be at reducing the symptoms of treatment-resistant depression which presented with anxiety. Their study enrolled 99 patients who ranged in age from 18 to 70. Out of the total number of participants, 45 of them were diagnosed with anxious depression.

Ketamine has been known as a fast acting drug which can produce positive results within hours of an infusion, as compared to days, weeks or even months for most traditional antidepressants. The MGH study found that ketamine was equally effective for treatment-resistant depression, whether with or without anxiety. Researchers also found an interesting pattern: it was observed that, within 40 minutes of receiving their infusion, patients with anxiety experienced fewer “dissociative” symptoms than participants without anxious depression.

The results of this study are important, as it highlights the key role that ketamine plays in helping patients with treatment-resistant depression, and presents a hopeful solution for those suffering from treatment-resistant anxious depression.

At Vitalitas Denver, we offer ketamine for depression and anxiety, as well as a full spectrum of psychiatric services. If you would like to discuss your symptoms, we are happy to help you determine whether ketamine therapy could be effective for you. Find out if you’re a candidate and complete the brief form below to schedule a meeting with a member of our team.

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