Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ketamine's power as antidepressant

There are many ways of treating depression. Psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, as well as light therapy and other experimental solutions are attempted for drug-resistant depression. However, the importance of pharmacotherapy has still been dominant.

In recent years, some new drugs are under consideration as an option for treating depression. On the other hand, some conventional drugs are also re-evaluated as an antidepressant. Among them, ketamine has been expected for its rapid effect for elevating mood.

Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic drug originally. It was often observed that users of ketamine became looking happy. And in recent years, its effect for improving depressive symptoms is investigated in many clinical trials.

The results are very promising. Ketamine is effective in some patients who did not respond to other antidepressants. In addition, the improvement is observed rapidly. Thus, patients in an acute phase of depression with a risk of suicide can receive the benefit of ketamine.

However, ketamine's adverse effect has not been well examined. Especially, longitudinal effect such as raising blood pressure can be problematic since the patients will have to take medication for a long term for relapse prevention. Researchers published a systematic review regarding the safety of ketamine warned this issue.

International Business Times: Ketamine can help treat depression - but scientists are wary of long-term risks

While admitting the potential of ketamine therapy, I am afraid of its negative impact, as I mentioned below.

My past entry: Ketamine, an expecting antidepressant

Ketamine is also used as a recreational drug. It means that its character is similar to that of methylphenidate, perhaps. Methylphenidate had been used as an antidepressant in Japan. Since some abusive patients and doctors inappropriately taking this drug committed a crime, Japan government cancel the permission of methylphenidate for anti-depressive usage.

I reckon ketamine does not have a substantial effect on depression. If the taker's mood is elevated, he will need some other solution for a complete recovery from depression.

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