You may have heard that ketamine is a great option when it comes to picking a treatment for depression. And that’s true. Ketamine therapy is a safe and innovative approach to depression that has been proven to be highly effective—especially in patients who have been resistant to other treatments. But how do you know which kind of ketamine therapy to choose? Should you go with IV ketamine or sublingual treatment? We break down the two options below.

IV Ketamine vs. Sublingual

There are two main options when it comes to using ketamine as a treatment for depression:

    • IV Ketamine. In this form of treatment, ketamine is delivered straight to the patient’s bloodstream via an intravenous tube. IV ketamine allows for greater control in the administration of the drug and allows more of the drug to reach the brain.
    • Sublingual Treatment. In sublingual ketamine treatment, the drug is taken orally by placing it under the patient’s tongue. In this treatment, the drug has a longer path to reach the patient’s brain, as it is first digested and absorbed into the intestines. It is then processed by the liver into metabolites, and only then does it enter the bloodstream.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IV Ketamine and Sublingual Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression

Sublingual ketamine treatments can be easier to administer than IV ketamine, and many patients choose to employ sublingual treatment at home. However, this is where the advantages of sublingual ketamine stop. First of all, sublingual treatments are far more difficult to monitor than IV treatments and the effect of the drug is far less streamlined and unpredictable than in the more controlled IV method. Furthermore, because, in IV treatment, the infusion bypasses the digestive system, it goes straight into the bloodstream and more of it gets to the brain where it has a more beneficial effect. In sublingual treatment, the ketamine is digested first and less of it makes it to the bloodstream and the brain.

Another difference between the two forms of ketamine as a treatment for depression is the question of side effects. Sublingual treatments often have more severe and long-lasting side effects than IV ketamine. These may include hallucinations and elevated blood pressure. IV ketamine has less severe side effects and even if they are undesirable, they usually go away quickly.

For this reason, the best way to take ketamine is via IV treatment as supervised by a trusted professional. It is both safer and more effective than sublingual treatment. However, each person has to decide for themselves what their best options are and there are a lot of factors, including cost and convenience, to consider.

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Contact Ketamine Greater Boston

If you have any questions about ketamine treatment or about which form of therapy is right for you, do not hesitate to contact us. At Ketamine Greater Boston, we’re here to help you find the best treatment for you. Fill out the form below to get started!