SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn., Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lori Calabrese, M.D., Innovative Psychiatry (https://loricalabresemd.com). Local psychiatrist publishes data demonstrating that the use of a series of IV ketamine infusions, with dose adjustments, can stop suicidal thoughts and avert ER trips and hospitalizations. The research, published in the International Journal of Psychiatry Research, comprised a retrospective chart review of 231 patients with treatment resistant depression and co-occurring complex psychiatric illnesses treated in a large psychiatry office.
"This is the first report from a real-world psychiatry practice treating severely ill, suicidal patients with treatment resistant depression and complex psychiatric co-morbidities. It involved looking back at the treatment we provided to a large number of patients with treatment resistant depression who were suicidal. For them, serial, titrated ketamine infusions were life-saving. There were no suicide deaths or suicide attempts, no need for ER trips or psychiatric hospitalizations," says Lori Calabrese, M.D., Medical Director of Innovative Psychiatry in South Windsor, CT. "This is the first report of IV ketamine used to treat suicidal thoughts in patients with treatment resistant depression in a real outpatient practice setting, the first report of the use of serial titrated infusions in comprehensive psychiatric practice, and the largest group of patients reported from one site in published studies of IV ketamine for treatment resistant depression and suicidality," she says. "It's a lot of firsts."
Dr. Calabrese explains that this population of adolescents and adults is the most challenging to treat because their lives are at risk. Medicines that can rapidly treat suicidal ideation are few and far between, and desperately needed. "Remarkably, most of these patients had already tried at least 4 different antidepressants without improvement. The majority had made previous suicide attempts, had been hospitalized, and were currently being treated with complicated medication regimens without relief. Others had no relief from ECT or TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). Yet most of them responded dramatically to ketamine infusions," she stated.
In many cases, a single ketamine infusion stopped suicidal thoughts completely, even if they'd persisted for months. If they didn't stop, a short series of treatments significantly reduced suicidal thoughts in 79%, and completely stopped suicidal thoughts in 59%. "This is a dramatic result," Calabrese states. "We've never had anything like this to offer patients."
Of the 231 severely ill and high risk patients, there were no suicide deaths, no suicide attempts, no need for trips to the ER for suicidality, and no psychiatric hospitalizations during treatment and for an additional 4 weeks.
The lack of available treatment options, other than ECT, for people with treatment resistant depression who are suicidal, and often have several other psychiatric conditions associated with agitated states and increased suicidal risk, causes a critically high burden for these patients—financially, in quality of life, and in survival. "This treatment can offer these patient an extraordinary possibility," Calabrese states. "The potential to avert suicide, preserve life, reduce patient and family suffering, and reduce healthcare costs is enormous."
About Innovative Psychiatry (https://loricalabresemd.com) - Full service psychiatry practice offering patients innovative treatment including, but not limited to, IV ketamine infusions.
SOURCE Lori Calabrese, M.D., LLC