Understanding Ketamine and its Effects in Treating Depression

Oct 27, 2020

Depression affects approximately 17.3 million American adults every year

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine was originally developed in 1962 as an anesthetic. Research has shown over the last several years that ketamine has antidepressant properties and has been incorporated into the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is now also used for pain management – post-operative, chronic, and neuropathic conditions such as headaches and migraines.

What Does Ketamine Do for Depression?

A study from Yale research labs showed that ketamine triggers glutamate production. Glutamate production prompts the brain to form new neural connections. The brain becomes more adaptable and able to create new pathways, giving patients the opportunity to develop more positive thoughts and behaviors. The effect of new pathways that had not been seen before, even with traditional antidepressants.

For the last 20 years, Yale researchers have experimented with subanesthetic doses of ketamine delivered intravenously. These controlled clinic settings were designed for patients with severe depression who have not improved with standard antidepressant treatments. In several studies, more than half of the participants showed a significant decrease in depression symptoms after 24 hours. These are patients who felt no improvement while on other antidepressant medications.

In March 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first medication for major depression, a nasal spray called esketamine. Treatment with esketamine has been proven to be helpful to patients that haven’t responded well to traditional antidepressant treatments.

How is Ketamine Administered?

In addition to infusion and nasal sprays, patients can take oral medications for relief. Valor Compounding Pharmacy™ compounds Ketamine troches — small low-dose medicated lozenges—designed to dissolve and soothe, like a cough drop. Valor’s™ low-dose Ketamine lozenges may help you manage anxiety in a new way.

The pharmacists at Valor Compounding Pharmacy™ work closely with specialty ketamine clinics, psychiatrists, and mental health clinics to understand and assist with the course of treatment. Be sure to discuss any side effects with your physician immediately. Side effects may include vivid dreams, nightmares, mood swings, hallucinations or agitation can be a problem at the start of treatment or when the dose is increased.

Ketamine Prescription

Valor™ works with prescribers and patients to compound Ketamine solutions tailored to the needs of individual patients and medical practices. Valor™ offers a $90 flat-rate package, which includes 30 lozenges with strengths up to 100 mg., along with free shipping.

  • If you are currently under the care of a physician and are a new patient to Valor™, simply call (510) 548-8777 to transfer your prescription, or you may submit your transfer online via our secure form.
  • Interested in starting ketamine treatment and would like a physician referral in your area? Please call (510) 548-8777 to speak with a pharmacist.
  • If you are a current Valor™ patient, you may call or submit your refill online via our secure form. Request to have your prescription auto-refill on a regular schedule and we will proactively speak with your physician for you each time.​

Contact Us

Valor Compounding Pharmacy™, Inc. is a multi-state licensed 503A facility housing both sterile and non-sterile laboratories, located in Berkeley, CA. Valor is a specialized pharmacy that makes custom medications to meet the unique needs of the individual patient. Our goal is to reinvent pharmacy from a reactive vendor to a proactive partner in patient health care. We do that by optimizing turnaround time, being data-driven, and reducing patient anxiety.

Our focus is on non-sterile and sterile, hazardous and non-hazardous compounded medication, and we work with a network of providers, patients, health systems/institutions, and research scientists in multiple states in the United States.