Ketamine can cut depression, suicidality rapidly

Leslie Hanson
April 16, 2018

"Major depressive disorder is among the most prevalent mental health conditions, affecting almost 300 million people globally, and the diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide".

MJ_Prototype via Getty Images The nasal spray could provide rapid treatment for patients who are deemed at imminent risk for suicide.

A nasal spray containing mind-altering "party drug" ketamine had a fast-acting effect on reducing the symptoms of severe depression, including suicidal thoughts, in a study carried out in the US.

Researchers from the Yale University and Janssen Pharmaceutica conducted the experimental research on antidepressant esketamine, which shows that it can be more effectual to overcome the lengthy treatment with conventional antidepressants that lasts for a number of weeks longer for being completely effective.

They found a significant improvement in depression scores and decreased suicidal thoughts in the esketamine group compared to the placebo group at four hours and at 24 hours.

Because the drug is already licensed as a medicine for its anaesthetic effects, it is already being prescribed for depression "off label" in private clinics, the BBC reports.

Researchers said those treated with the esketamine saw a greater improvement in their symptoms after the first day, compared with those who had taken the placebo. Treatment with antidepressants was continued for all the participants throughout the trial.

The nasal spray is now undergoing phase three trials before it can be licensed for treatment.

All the participants received treatment throughout the trial and researchers recorded their observations after four hours, 24 hours, and 25 days from the time the anti-depressants were given.


Meanwhile, due to potential abuse of Ketamine, scientists noted that more research is necessary to protect users.

"The main reason for its significance is because this is being developed by a drug company and it's potentially quite likely that this medication might become available as a treatment available on the NHS for depression", Dr.

During the study, 68 people who were on the verge of committing suicide were treated with anti-depressants.

Prof Mitul Mehta from King's College said it was an "exciting" study. The Editors suggest the need for broad input in the development of effective controls on the distribution and use of ketamine.

"It enters the body relatively quickly - it's not as fast as going straight into your bloodstream but not as slow as via the stomach and it's reasonably easy to control how much you give to a person".

But he said far bigger studies are needed to look out for any rare side-effects. This is happening in private clinics in the United States and the UK.

The anesthetic drug Ketamine has shown promising results in the treatment of symptoms of depression.

In the United Kingdom, doctors have been trialling ketamine to treat depression since 2011.

Previous year he called for the use of ketamine to treat depression to be rolled out.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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