Ketamine for Anxiety

We know that ketamine is becoming an increasingly accepted treatment for depression in the psychiatric community, but what about other mood disorders, such as anxiety? Can a medication with such pronounced effects on depression have similar effects on anxiety? Turns out, it can! While still in the most preliminary of studies, there has been scientific evidence showing that IV infusions of ketamine can be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. This makes sense, as depression and anxiety are often intertwined with each other, feeding off one another.

One 2017 study in New Zealand found that participants with general anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder received three ascending ketamine doses (0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg) once per week. The doses of ketamine produced rapid anti-anxiety effects, which lasted for 3 to 7 days at higher doses. A more recent and robust study from this year using IV ketamine and a placebo had similar findings – that those who received ketamine infusions had a significantly higher reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who received the placebo, and that reduction of anxiety symptoms were sustained for the following 14 days. These studies are promising, but there is a need for larger studies to prove that ketamine should be the standard for treatment-refractory anxiety.

Our team at Principium Psychiatry has treated many patients who, in addition to having depression, also have varying degrees of anxiety. Throughout their infusion protocols, we have found that not only do their depressive symptoms improve, but so does their anxiety. We have had patients tell us that they are now able to make plans with others and actually keep them, something that they have not been able to do in months or years due to debilitating anxiety. One patient happily reported that he stopped feeling the need to take his “as needed” anti-anxiety medication before meeting up with friends, as he didn’t feel overwhelmed and scared to be around others anymore. Another patient was able to reach out to old friends that she hadn’t seen in years because her depression and anxiety had been so debilitating.

With limited side effects and significant potential, intravenous infusions of low-dose ketamine have been life-altering for people suffering from depression and anxiety. With its ability to improve mood, decrease suicidal thoughts, decrease anxiety and boost self-esteem, ketamine can open a door for you when you thought they were all closed and locked. To learn more about ketamine infusions at Principium Psychiatry and to see if you are a candidate, call us at +1(212) 335-0236 or email us at We are dedicated to helping you combat your depression!

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