New ketamine infusions target depression

A wellness center uses a common anesthesia drug in tiny doses to help patients with a variety of ailments including depression.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of Americans 12 years old and older report taking antidepressants. The drugs are among the most commonly prescribed, but some people say they're taking them as directed and still don't feel better.

Many health experts insist patients need to try different medications, and dosages, and give them more time to work.

Brittney Stephens, 29, has a history of depression. When she recently moved to Houston, she said she felt like the depression had worsened, robbing her of all motivation.

"I didn't want to work. I didn't want to get out of bed, didn't want to talk to anybody. I just, I was moving through the motions every day," Stephens said. "At one point, I sat down and just said, 'Brittney what will make you happy?' And I couldn't think of one thing in the world that would make me happy. And that's the point whenever I said, 'I need to go get help.'"

She went to Kalypso Wellness. There, Dr. Mark Moran uses a common anesthesia drug called ketamine, which he administers in tiny doses that are given intravenously. Moran said ketamine can heal a wide variety of ailments.

"It certainly helps with nerve pain, like sciatica or shingles. It helps very well with depression and PTSD. It also helps with inflammatory pain like arthritis, and also has benefits with other things, like migraines, fibromyalgia and anxiety, headaches," Moran said.

The procedure itself is not FDA approved, because of that, no health insurance companies will cover this use of the drug and it costs hundreds of dollars per infusion.

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