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Is Ketamine a Depression Miracle Cure?

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While not a miracle cure, ketamine could be extremely beneficial in depression treatment. See early findings on Spravato for severe depression on HealthyPlace.

Is Ketamine a Depression Miracle Cure?

While depression currently lacks a definitive cure, especially a miracle cure, ketamine (esketamine, Spravato) seems to come close—at least so far in its short history of depression treatment (read: Does Ketamine Cure Depression?). After years of clinical studies, the FDA approved a ketamine nasal spray for severe depression in 2019.

Ketamine was first used in the 1960s as an anesthetic. Later, it proved useful for pain relief. Unfortunately, ketamine also has a dark side: it is used illegally as a club drug and has been used as a date rape drug. Now, in a nasal spray format and used in conjunction with oral antidepressants, it’s offering promising results for depression.

A small number of approved doctors have begun prescribing ketamine for treatment-resistant depression with positive results. People with severe depression have seen improvements in their symptoms quickly—within mere hours. Traditional antidepressants can take weeks to months to have full effect. Ketamine has also helped people who have had suicidal ideation and behavior.

Doctors remain hopeful but cautions. Ketamine for depression is too new to know the long-term effects. Further, it carries risk of serious side-effects as Ketamine has potential for abuse, tolerance, and addiction.  When used as prescribed and under close medical supervision, though, these effects have thus far been minimal. While not a miracle cure, ketamine could be extremely beneficial in depression treatment.

Related Articles Dealing with Mental Illness Medication

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: If you’ve tried Ketamine or Spravato nasal spray for severe depression, what’s been your experience? If you haven’t tried it, would you consider it? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

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back to: HealthyPlace.com Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, February 18). Is Ketamine a Depression Miracle Cure?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, March 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-health-newsletter/is-ketamine-a-depression-miracle-cure

Last Updated: February 18, 2020
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Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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