by Dr. Steven Levine
Some of the greatest challenges to the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders are the long waits of weeks to months for effect and the burden of side effects such as weight gain or sleepiness. Despite many gains in the past several decades in our understanding of depression and anxiety, many continue to feel frustrated by partially-effective and difficult to tolerate treatment options.
Ketamine is an anesthetic medicine that was developed nearly 50 years ago and has been safely used since that time for both children and adults. More recently, research has demonstrated that Ketamine may be administered intravenously in doses far below those used for surgery to provide rapid relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety. Whereas most of the currently available treatments take weeks to months to improve symptoms, Ketamine can provide significant improvement of symptoms of Major Depression, depression associated with Bipolar Disorder, and certain pain and anxiety disorders within hours.
Dr. Steven P. Levine is now offering Ketamine infusions as a simple outpatient procedure performed under careful supervision in a relaxing setting. Following consultation with Dr. Levine to determine appropriateness and safety of this treatment, patients are guided each step of the way with the help of the clinical coordinator to ensure a smooth, supportive process. This is an off-label use of Ketamine, meaning that the FDA has not approved this medication for this use. However, it is FDA approved for other uses, its safety and effectiveness has been demonstrated in multiple research studies, and off-label prescribing is a common and necessary practice in all fields of medicine.
Dr. Levine received his psychiatry training in Manhattan at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His undergraduate degree is from the Johns Hopkins University and M.D. degree from Tulane University. He is in private practice in Princeton, NJ, the consulting psychiatrist for the Capital Health Center for Women’s Health, and on the medical staff of Capital Health. Though he is a psychiatrist who focuses much of his practice on psychotherapy rather than medication treatments, he felt compelled to make this unique treatment available outside of research settings because of the potential to achieve dramatic results, safely, in such a short period of time. Further information is available by visiting Dr. Levine’s practice website at www.PrincetonHealthPsychiatric.com or calling to arrange a consultation at 609-955-4948.
Steven P. Levine, M.D., Princeton Health Psychiatric, LLC, 1 Palmer Square, Suite 420, Princeton. 609-430-0500, fax 609-228-5959. www.PrincetonHealthPsychiatric.com.