graphic of PTSD brain concept

Finding Relief and Hope: The Transformative Benefits of Ketamine Infusion Therapy for PTSD

Next month (June) is PTSD Awareness Month. As a clinic specializing in depressive mood disorders, PTSD being one of them, we thought it was essential to look at how Ketamine Infusion Therapy can help. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can profoundly impact an individual’s mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life. Fortunately, advancements in medical science have led to innovative treatments that offer renewed hope for individuals struggling with PTSD. One such groundbreaking therapy is Ketamine Infusion Therapy, which has shown remarkable benefits in alleviating the symptoms of PTSD. 

Understanding PTSD:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The symptoms may include vivid flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, insomnia, and emotional distress. Conventional treatments, such as therapy and medication, have proven effective for many, but some individuals continue to experience distressing symptoms despite these interventions. This is where Ketamine Infusion Therapy comes into play.

The Promise of Ketamine Infusion Therapy:

Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic initially developed for use in surgery, has gained recognition in recent years for its potential to treat various mental health conditions, including PTSD. 

Scientific Evidence:

Recent studies have supported the efficacy of Ketamine Infusion Therapy in reducing the symptoms of PTSD. For example, published on January 5, 2021, in the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was the first randomized, controlled trial of repeated ketamine administration for chronic PTSD. It suggests ketamine may be a promising treatment for PTSD patients. 

“Our findings provide insight into the treatment efficacy of repeated ketamine administration for PTSD, an important next step in our quest to develop novel pharmacologic interventions for this chronic and disabling disorder, as a large number of individuals are not sufficiently helped by currently available treatments,” says Adriana Feder, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and lead author of the study. “The data suggests repeated IV ketamine is a promising treatment for people who suffer from PTSD and provides evidentiary support to warrant future studies to determine how we can maintain this rapid and robust response over time.”

Imaging analysis was conducted on the participants in a follow-up to the above study. The team analyzed detailed brain imaging data of individuals with chronic PTSD treated in the clinical trial with ketamine. Results suggest that improvements in PTSD symptoms observed in the trial were related to specific ketamine-induced changes in connectivity between several brain regions.

How Ketamine Works:

Ketamine works differently from traditional antidepressants by targeting the brain’s glutamate system, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. It enhances the growth of new connections between brain cells, leading to improved neural pathways and enhanced emotional resilience. This unique mechanism of action allows for rapid relief from symptoms, often within hours or days, compared to the weeks or months required for traditional treatments to take effect.

Minimal Side Effects:

Ketamine Infusion Therapy is generally well-tolerated, with minimal side effects reported. Patients may experience mild dissociation during the infusion, which is typically temporary and subsides shortly after the treatment. 

Long-Term Relief and Enhanced Well-being:

One of the most promising aspects of Ketamine Infusion Therapy is its potential to provide lasting relief. While the number of treatments required may vary from person to person, many patients report a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms that begin immediately after treatment and can last weeks. With ongoing treatment, relief enables individuals to regain control of their lives, rebuild relationships, and experience an improved overall sense of well-being.

For individuals grappling with the distressing symptoms of PTSD, Ketamine Infusion Therapy can offer a beacon of hope. Backed by scientific research, this innovative therapy can bring transformative relief, allowing individuals to reclaim their lives from the grip of PTSD. If you are seeking a path toward healing and renewed well-being, consider exploring the possibilities of Ketamine Infusion Therapy as a powerful tool in your journey toward recovery.

For more information on treatment and costs, contact Tranquility Ketamine at (505) 639-4973 or visit



How Ketamine is Helping us Better Understand Depression and the Brain

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic medication that was first synthesized in 1962 by a chemist searching for a novel compound with the anesthetic efficacy of older dissociative anesthetics such as PCP but with a much greater safety profile and lower incidence of “emergence reactions.” Emergence reactions are untoward, uncomfortable reactions that may be experienced while the medication wears off, causing hallucinations, anxiety, and other unpleasant psychic symptoms.

A dissociative anesthetic can, at higher doses, cause a sense of the patient being dissociated or “out of body” for a time, hence the name. This effect is not typical at the lower doses used for mental health disorders, but milder side effects such as altered perceptions or a sensation of floating frequently occur.

How is Ketamine Used?

Due to Ketamine’s favorable safety profile, it rapidly replaced morphine as the “buddy drug” given by soldiers to their wounded comrades in pain during the Vietnam War. It is still being used on battlefields today. Ketamine was found to be a much safer and more effective analgesic than the previously used opiate medications, as it did not lower the blood pressure or slow the patient’s breathing and did not require cardiac monitoring.

Ketamine is used extensively in emergency departments for analgesia and sedation in children. More recently, Ketamine has been administered to adults who are about to undergo painful or delicate procedures—creating a favorable dissociative, amnestic state. As a result, Ketamine is the anesthetic of choice for pediatric analgesia and sedation in the ED.

Most recently, the administration of intravenous low-dose Ketamine has been surprisingly effective in rapidly improving the symptoms of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other mental health conditions such as chronic pain syndromes. This effect is supported by numerous studies conducted at reputable research centers from 2000 to the present.

Ketamine as a Quick Treatment for Depressive Disorder

Ketamine has been shown to improve symptoms of depression in as little as several hours after the first treatment. This lifting of the depressive symptoms seems to last anywhere from several days to weeks or months and typically lasts longest after a series of six infusions over two weeks. In addition, single-dose “booster” treatments for two weeks to months after the initial infusion have been shown to prolong the antidepressant effect of the medication in many patients.


For depressive disorder, typically, antidepressants are prescribed. Antidepressants work in line with what’s called the monoamine hypothesis of depression. The hypothesis, which emerged in the 1950s, says that depression is caused by low levels of chemical messengers in the brain called monoamine neurotransmitters, which include serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. The idea is if you can increase levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain, you can reverse depression.

These drugs fall into several categories, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and the older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). They all affect one or more of the monoamine neurotransmitters. These drugs cause monoamines to remain in the synaptic cleft — the space between neurons — for longer. Their success at treating depression is thought to be related to the birth of new neurons in a part of the brain called the hippocampus (an area responsible for learning, memory, and emotion) and the increased production of proteins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is known to build neural connections. These processes take time and may account for the slow relief typically associated with antidepressants. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to alleviate depression symptoms.

How Ketamine Differs

Research suggests that one of Ketamine’s significant actions is as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. That is, it blocks the activation of the NMDA receptor. This action leads to increased release of glutamate, which is involved in neuronal plasticity and synaptic growth and repair. These effects through complex pathways lead to the release of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance responsible for maintaining healthy neurons and their connections, known as synapses.

Increased BDNF has been shown to bring about the repair and regrowth of damaged synapses and their neuronal connections caused by chronic stress in animal models. Likewise, in humans, Ketamine is thought to lead to the creation of new neuronal circuits and/or repair of the healthy neuronal connections that existed in the brain before the patient suffered from depression, PTSD, OCD, and/or chronic anxiety.

In 2014, Thomas Insel, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, stated, “Recent data suggest that ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.”

If you or someone you know could benefit from Ketamine Infusion Therapy, please contact Tranquility Ketamine by clicking here or calling (505) 639-4973.