In a recent United States research study, it was determined that ketamine shows promise when used in the rapid treatment of major depression and suicidal idealities. Ketamine has a reputation for being a party drug, but it is licensed to be used in a medical setting for anesthesia purposes. The study discovered that ketamine used via nasal spray led to significant improvements in people with depression, within the first 24 hours.
What Can Ketamine Do for Depression?
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the study was significant and brought ketamine closer to being prescribed by the NHS.
The report from researchers at Janssen Research and Development, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and the Yale School of Medicine, is the first study of its kind into ketamine as a treatment for depression, that’s been facilitated by a drug company.
Results of the study are being published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The trial looked at 68 people who were at imminent risk of committing suicide. All the patients were treated with a hospital stay and anti-depressant medications.
Additionally, half of the group were given ketamine in the form of esketamine (part of the ketamine molecule), in a nasal spray, while the other half received a placebo.
The study found those using esketamine had much better improvement in depression symptoms at all points within the first month of treatment. However, at day 25, all the effects of esketamine had leveled out completely.
The authors of the study suggest it could offer effective, rapid treatment for people with severe depression and at imminent risk of suicide and could help in the initial stages of treatment, most anti-depressant medications can take 4-6 weeks to be fully effective.
Conclusion of the Study:
The esketamine nasal spray is undergoing the phase three trials right now before it can be approved and licensed for treatment. This study reported no misuse or esketamine dependence during the trial, but the authors warn that more research is required to review the potential for abuse of ketamine and say it needs to be explored in the future.