Ketamine can Mitigate Major Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
Ketamine can Mitigate Major Depression and Suicidal Thoughts
Ketamine Nasal Spray Gives Fast-Acting Relief For Depression And Prevents Suicidal Thoughts, Study Finds
17 April, 2018, 07:09
Researchers in the USA treated people with the drug via a nasal spray, and said they found a "significant" improvement in symptoms in the first 24 hours.
Researchers compared the effects of two treatment options: the first was standard treatment with antidepressants in hospital plus a nasal spray containing esketamine (part of the ketamine molecule); while the other was standard treatment plus a placebo.
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. The esketamine effects were not greater than the placebo at 25 days.
Now, after a number of trials, researchers at Janssen Research and Development in New Jersey and the Yale School of Medicine determined that ketamine could be an effective treatment for depression, too. Considering that almost all available antidepressants take days to have an effect, this could mean ketamine has a real future filling a current gap in depression treatment.
"In just a matter of hours" participants in the ketamine test group and their doctors "measured a significant improvement in symptoms of patients classed as being at high risk of suicide", says The Independent. Esketamine could be an important treatment to bridge the gap that exists because of the delayed effect of most common antidepressants.
This study was a proof-of-concept, phase 2, study for esketamine; it must still go through a phase 3 study before possible FDA approval.
The study authors warned that additional studies needed to be conducted that would examine the potential for abuse of prescribed medical ketamine. "Protection of the public's health is part of our responsibility as well, and as physicians, we are responsible for preventing new drug epidemics", AJP editor Robert Freedman, M.D. said in a press release published via the American Psychiatric Association.
If approved for use on the NHS, Stone said, the spray "would be aimed at people with severe depression as a second or third line of treatment if other drugs haven't worked", including as a potential alternative to electroconvulsive therapy. "This would allow the treatment to continue to be available to those with need, while the population that is at-risk for abuse is protected from an epidemic of misuse".
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The clash in air masses and the vigorous nature of this storm system will all contribute to the chances for severe weather today. Expect pockets of moderate to heavy rain at times with thunder and lightning possible with some gusty winds.