Ketamine quickly reduces the risk of depression and suicide

A review of studies found that ketamine rapidly reduces symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts

Ketamine is a drug used for years as an anesthetic in animals, for example in horses and dogs. In humans, it is also used for maintenance of anesthesia. Ketamine induces a dissociative state, a kind of trance that provides relief from pain, sedation and amnesia, that is, it prevents remembering the painful experience. It is also popular as a recreational drug, where it is sometimes referred to as Special K.

However, in recent years, lower dose ketamine has been tried as an adjunct in the treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), drug addiction and other disorders. The results are being very good.

ONE systematic review of studies led by the University of Exeter analyzed the results of 83 research articles. The most conclusive results support the use of ketamine to treat major depression and bipolar depression. Symptoms subsided between one and four hours after a single treatment and lasted for up to two weeks. Some evidence suggests that repeat treatment may prolong the effects, but more studies are needed to determine how long.

The study indicates that a single dose of ketamine also reduces suicidal thoughts. This improvement was seen as early as four hours after ketamine treatment and lasted on average between three days and a week.

Common treatments for depression use antidepressant medications such as SRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors). However, studies confirm that these antidepressant pills fail in 30% of cases, and you can’t tell if they work or not until two months later. A long time for those who have suicidal thoughts.

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One dose, immediate improvements

Ketamine is given intravenously or intranasally and the patient is monitored for a few hours while feeling the effects in a controlled environment. In many cases, only one dose is needed and its effects last for weeks. Ketamine acts on the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain, one of those responsible for regulating mood.

For other psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, there are Indians that treatment with ketamine can also be beneficial, as is the case for people with substance use disorders. In short time.

The researchers indicate that several questions remain unanswered, such as the optimal dose, the route of administration and the number of doses of ketamine treatment needed for each disorder. More research is also needed on the additional benefit of using psychotherapy in conjunction with ketamine treatment.

Ketamine is part of the treatments known as psychedelic therapy, an area in which the latest discoveries have shown the advantages of using pesicotropic drugs to treat the most common mental disorders.

REFERENCE

Ketamine for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders: a comprehensive systematic review

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