{"id":606345003314,"title":"Who is Not a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?","created_at":"2023-09-19T23:37:04-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Who is Not a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?\",\n \"keywords\": \"who is not a good candidate for ketamine therapy\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyze medical studies on ketamine therapy to determine if it's actually effective for patients with depression and anxiety. We also review studies that investigated whether certain subgroups may be ideal or non-ideal candidates for ketamine therapy.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/who-is-not-a-good-candidate-for-ketamine-therapy\",\n\"author\": \n {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n },\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Devin Dunatov\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/devin-dunatov\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/devin-dunatov\/\",\n \"https:\/\/www.psychologytoday.com\/us\/psychiatrists\/devin-dunatov-addiction-psychiatry-scottsdale-az\/819540\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Mental Health Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"depression, anxiety, ADHD, therapy, mental health, psychology, psychiatry, medication, FDA, clinical research, addiction\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of Texas Southwestern\",\n \"Medical College of Wisconsin\",\n \"Creighton University School of Medicine\",\n \"University of Arizona\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Who_Is_Not_A_Good_Candidate_For_Ketamine_Therapy_Thumbnail.png?v=1695181164\",\n\"width\": \"2078\",\n\"height\": \"2078\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/ketamine-therapy\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32324515\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29561204\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8299822\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/mindbloom-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28757132\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/35475471\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33826190\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"depression\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"anxiety\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"bipolar depression\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"cardiovascular disease\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"high blood pressure\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Bustle\"\n}\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-09-19\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003ci data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Who_Is_Not_A_Good_Candidate_For_Ketamine_Therapy_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1695180886\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). Recreational use of ketamine is illegal in all US jurisdictions. The information in this article is for patients considering assisted psychotherapy with a licensed medical professional, where medical applications of ketamine are studied and approved. We do not recommend or condone recreational ketamine use.\u003cu\u003e\u003c\/u\u003e\u003cu\u003e\u003c\/u\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eK\u003c\/span\u003eetamine therapy is growing in popularity as an alternative therapy to treat a range of mental health conditions. \u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\u003cspan data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eKetamine is legal for medical use in the United States and available to licensed providers.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eBut is ketamine therapy appropriate for everyone or are there certain groups or conditions that make it riskier? Has clinical research identified which groups may be the best candidates for ketamine therapy? And how do real medical ketamine users describe their experience?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more. We will analyze medical studies on ketamine therapy to first determine if it’s effective at all, and then to give our opinion on whether certain groups may be better or worse candidates than others for ketamine therapy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eWe’ll also feature an unsponsored medical ketamine user’s review and description of their experience.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eDoes Ketamine Improve Mental Health?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eAs we documented in our \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/ketamine-therapy\"\u003eketamine\u003c\/a\u003e review article, this chemical compound has been studied in clinical trials for its effects on depression, anxiety and a host of other mental health conditions.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eA 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32324515\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32324515\/\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e reported that ketamine was effective in relieving depression symptoms, and was particularly shown to be effective in patients who were unresponsive to pharmaceutical antidepressants.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29561204\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/29561204\/\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eJournal of Psychopharmacology\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e suggests that ketamine may be beneficial for patients with anxiety.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eAfter three months of weekly ketamine injections administered by a licensed medical professional, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e18 of the 20 patients studied reported significant reductions in anxiety, and “marked improvements in functionality and in their personal lives.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eA 2021 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8299822\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8299822\/\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003esystematic review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e found ketamine to have favorable results in patients with bipolar depression.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e61% of patients receiving ketamine experienced a reduction in baseline depression severity by at least 50%, compared to only 5% of patients receiving a placebo.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eBased on the available research, we consider ketamine to be promising for the treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions, when properly administered in a clinical setting.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eBut are there certain individuals or groups that may not be ideal candidates for ketamine therapy? We’ll analyze the research and share our thoughts in the next section of this article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eWho Might Ketamine Not Be a Fit For?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003ePatients with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure may not be a good fit for ketamine therapy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eAs we documented in our review of online ketamine therapy platform \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/mindbloom-review\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/mindbloom-review\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eMindbloom\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e, heart rate and blood pressure are clinically shown to increase during ketamine use, and can also increase after-the-fact.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eThe clinical trial on ketamine for anxiety that we cited in the previous section found that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels increased by around 10 mmHg after 30 minutes.\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eThis may not be an issue in patients with normal blood pressure levels, but may push patients with higher blood pressure into a dangerous range.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eKetamine may not be a good option for individuals who suffer with psychosis, given that ketamine use can trigger psychotic symptoms, as documented by a 2018 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28757132\/\" data-mce-href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28757132\/\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e on the side effects of ketamine.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eHowever, for the most part, further research is needed to confirm at-risk groups for ketamine therapy.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eA 2022 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/35475471\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e concluded the following:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e“In patients receiving ketamine for pain, predicting who may be more likely to experience neuropsychiatric adverse effects remains difficult.”\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eWe hope that research on therapeutic ketamine use continues, so that scientists may gain a better understanding of any individuals that may have a particular genetic susceptibility to side effects from ketamine use.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eBut how does a real ketamine patient describe their experience and its effects? We’ll feature a real user review in the next section of this article.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eUnsponsored Ketamine Therapy Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eA YouTube video published on the popular Bustle channel documents an individual who undergoes ketamine therapy in a clinical setting to treat anxiety:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/ISnJVzZj0A4?si=7G7mmgMuW4WWnnE-\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" allowfullscreen=\"\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Mental Wellness Recommendation\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Mental_Health_Image.png?v=1667787512\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe recommend a platform called \u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/brightside.pxf.io\/0J4W3M\"\u003eBrightside\u003c\/a\u003e to patients on a mental health journey. It's an online therapy and medication platform that connects patients with licensed therapists and doctors from the comfort of their home.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eA \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33826190\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eClinical Psychology \u0026amp; Psychotherapy\u003c\/em\u003e journal found that \u003cstrong\u003eonline therapy was equally effective to in-person therapy for treating depression, anxiety and PTSD.\u003c\/strong\u003e Therapy may be a good first option for patients who want to avoid the side effects of medication.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eBrightside also can connect patients with licensed psychiatrists that can prescribe medication. Some patients choose only therapy, some choose only medication, and some choose both. The brand reports that \u003cstrong\u003e86% of members feel significantly better within 12 weeks of treatment.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003ePatients with and without health insurance can use Brightside. For many patients with health insurance, treatment is entirely covered by insurance.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThe cost for medication without health insurance is capped at $95\/month and the cost for therapy without health insurance is capped at $299\/month.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eInterested patients can check out Brightside \u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/brightside.pxf.io\/0J4W3M\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/a\u003e to the brand's website.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cb data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eKetamine is a drug that can have powerfully therapeutic effects when administered properly, but its side effect profile is still relatively unknown (especially when considering long-term use).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eResearchers have not yet been able to identify population subgroups that may be worse candidates for ketamine therapy in regard to psychiatric effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-style=\"font-weight: 400;\" data-mce-fragment=\"1\"\u003eIn regard to physical effects, patients with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure may not be ideal ketamine therapy candidates, given that ketamine use can transiently increase stress on the cardiovascular system.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe hope that ketamine research continues, because this treatment modality is emerging as a potential alternative to prescription antidepressants that may significantly benefit some patients.\u003cu\u003e\u003c\/u\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-09-19T23:48:20-04:00","updated_at":"2023-09-24T12:06:27-04:00","summary_html":"We analyze medical studies on ketamine therapy to determine if it's actually effective for patients with depression and anxiety. We also review studies that investigated whether certain subgroups may be ideal or non-ideal candidates for ketamine therapy.","template_suffix":"","handle":"who-is-not-a-good-candidate-for-ketamine-therapy","tags":"_related:mental-health"}

Who is Not a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?

Who is Not a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). Recreational use of ketamine is illegal in all US jurisdictions. The information in this article is for patients considering assisted psychotherapy with a licensed medical professional, where medical applications of ketamine are studied and approved. We do not recommend or condone recreational ketamine use.

Ketamine therapy is growing in popularity as an alternative therapy to treat a range of mental health conditions. Ketamine is legal for medical use in the United States and available to licensed providers.

But is ketamine therapy appropriate for everyone or are there certain groups or conditions that make it riskier? Has clinical research identified which groups may be the best candidates for ketamine therapy? And how do real medical ketamine users describe their experience?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more. We will analyze medical studies on ketamine therapy to first determine if it’s effective at all, and then to give our opinion on whether certain groups may be better or worse candidates than others for ketamine therapy.

We’ll also feature an unsponsored medical ketamine user’s review and description of their experience.

Does Ketamine Improve Mental Health?

As we documented in our ketamine review article, this chemical compound has been studied in clinical trials for its effects on depression, anxiety and a host of other mental health conditions.

A 2020 meta-study reported that ketamine was effective in relieving depression symptoms, and was particularly shown to be effective in patients who were unresponsive to pharmaceutical antidepressants.

A clinical trial published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that ketamine may be beneficial for patients with anxiety.

After three months of weekly ketamine injections administered by a licensed medical professional, 18 of the 20 patients studied reported significant reductions in anxiety, and “marked improvements in functionality and in their personal lives.”

A 2021 systematic review found ketamine to have favorable results in patients with bipolar depression.

61% of patients receiving ketamine experienced a reduction in baseline depression severity by at least 50%, compared to only 5% of patients receiving a placebo.

Based on the available research, we consider ketamine to be promising for the treatment of a wide range of mental health conditions, when properly administered in a clinical setting.

But are there certain individuals or groups that may not be ideal candidates for ketamine therapy? We’ll analyze the research and share our thoughts in the next section of this article.

Who Might Ketamine Not Be a Fit For?

Patients with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure may not be a good fit for ketamine therapy.

As we documented in our review of online ketamine therapy platform Mindbloom, heart rate and blood pressure are clinically shown to increase during ketamine use, and can also increase after-the-fact.

The clinical trial on ketamine for anxiety that we cited in the previous section found that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels increased by around 10 mmHg after 30 minutes.

This may not be an issue in patients with normal blood pressure levels, but may push patients with higher blood pressure into a dangerous range.

Ketamine may not be a good option for individuals who suffer with psychosis, given that ketamine use can trigger psychotic symptoms, as documented by a 2018 medical review on the side effects of ketamine.

However, for the most part, further research is needed to confirm at-risk groups for ketamine therapy.

A 2022 medical review concluded the following:

“In patients receiving ketamine for pain, predicting who may be more likely to experience neuropsychiatric adverse effects remains difficult.”

We hope that research on therapeutic ketamine use continues, so that scientists may gain a better understanding of any individuals that may have a particular genetic susceptibility to side effects from ketamine use.

But how does a real ketamine patient describe their experience and its effects? We’ll feature a real user review in the next section of this article.

Unsponsored Ketamine Therapy Review

A YouTube video published on the popular Bustle channel documents an individual who undergoes ketamine therapy in a clinical setting to treat anxiety:

Our Mental Wellness Recommendation

We recommend a platform called Brightside to patients on a mental health journey. It's an online therapy and medication platform that connects patients with licensed therapists and doctors from the comfort of their home.

medical review published in the Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy journal found that online therapy was equally effective to in-person therapy for treating depression, anxiety and PTSD. Therapy may be a good first option for patients who want to avoid the side effects of medication.

Brightside also can connect patients with licensed psychiatrists that can prescribe medication. Some patients choose only therapy, some choose only medication, and some choose both. The brand reports that 86% of members feel significantly better within 12 weeks of treatment.

Patients with and without health insurance can use Brightside. For many patients with health insurance, treatment is entirely covered by insurance.

The cost for medication without health insurance is capped at $95/month and the cost for therapy without health insurance is capped at $299/month.

Interested patients can check out Brightside at this link to the brand's website.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Ketamine is a drug that can have powerfully therapeutic effects when administered properly, but its side effect profile is still relatively unknown (especially when considering long-term use).

Researchers have not yet been able to identify population subgroups that may be worse candidates for ketamine therapy in regard to psychiatric effects.

In regard to physical effects, patients with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure may not be ideal ketamine therapy candidates, given that ketamine use can transiently increase stress on the cardiovascular system.

We hope that ketamine research continues, because this treatment modality is emerging as a potential alternative to prescription antidepressants that may significantly benefit some patients.