Health Care

Ketamine nasal spray can fight depression, suicidal thoughts

Ketamine nasal spray can fight depression, suicidal thoughts”

Ketamine has "shown promise" in rapidly treating the symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts, a study has said. Patients in one group received the standard treatment along with ketamine in the form of a nasal spray known as esketamine. The researchers looked at effects at four hours after first treatment, at 24 hours and at 25 days. "The results of this study reinforce the potential of esketamine as an acute treatment for patients in crisis".

The researchers measured a patient's score depending on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, a psychological rating scale to measure the severity of depression symptoms as well as the Suicide Ideation and Behavior Assessment Tool. It was funded by Janssen Research and Development, LLC.

The study compared the traditional treatment added with an intranasal formulation of esketamine, to traditional treatment included with a placebo for rapid treatment of symptoms of major depression as well as suicidality.

Because it is so fast-acting, the study authors suggest that the esketamine nasal spray could become an important treatment for those at imminent risk of suicide.

At just four hours after treatment, those who were placed in the esketamine group already showed significant improvement - their depression levels and suicidal thoughts dramatically decreased - while those in the placebo group only showed better results after 25 days. The most common events among those receiving esketamine were nausea, dizziness, dissociation, unpleasant taste and headache. Ketamine as a treatment for depression is now in its phase 3 clinical trial.

Dr. James Stone of the Royal College of Psychiatrists told the news publication that the USA research about ketamine is "interesting". "Such steps initiated early in the development of ketamine and other drugs whose therapeutic potential is complicated by the potential for abuse would not be meant to deny therapeutic help to patients with significant need", Freedman and colleagues wrote.

While it is the responsibility of physicians to provide a suicidal patient with the fullest range of effective interventions, the AJP Editor's note, "protection of the public's health is part of our responsibility as well, and as physicians, we are responsible for preventing new drug epidemics". It was patented in 1968 and was used as a battlefield anesthetic by US soldiers during the Vietnam War.

New use for ketamine has been discovered after breakthrough study.

It is also identified as a party drug.

Ketamine gained its negative reputation when it became a popular street drug that offers a trancelike, hallucinatory high effect. Sedation through Ketamine is referred by recreational drug users as K-hole.

A single dose of one to two milligrams of Ketamine per kilogram of body weight produces an intense experience lasting about an hour.

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