The Promise of Ketamine

Health & Medical Blog

Ketamine has made its return to clinical pharmacology in order to treat depression and anxiety, two conditions that affect 40 million Americans. Ketamine may be able to alleviate the symptoms of even the most severe depressives. Experts think it may prove to be a sort of "miracle drug" when it comes to anti-depressants. 

As long as its use is monitored closely by a physician, ketamine may have the ability to treat even the most severe cases of depression, according to John Krystal, MD, the chief psychiatrist at Yale's New Haven Hospital.

While the FDA has yet to approve ketamine for the treatment of depression, the research continues. In the near future, ketamine may be approved for the treatment of severe depression in a very controlled fashion, since the drug is closely related to PCP. 

The Differences Between Ketamine and Conventional Anti-Depressants

Conventional anti-depressants often take weeks before starting to work. For someone with severe depression, every second spent laboring under that depressive yoke is a second too long.

Ketamine seems to begin working for patients as soon as they take it. Patients can often begin feeling its anti-depressant effects within several hours. Ketamine may prove to be very effective at helping patients close the gap between when they start taking anti-depressants and when they begin to work.

Researchers theorize that ketamine encourages damaged neuron receptors in the brain to regrow, especially those that control mood. It is almost as if ketamine restores a brain that is stuck. And oddly enough, they think this happens as the drug is leaving the body. 

The History of Ketamine

Ketamine was developed in the 1960s as a battlefield anesthetic that was used in Vietnam. It has also been used extensively in veterinary medicine. The drug's psychoactive properties are what may enable it to be so effective in treating severe depression. However, its psychoactive properties have also prompted the drug's strict control by nearly all countries.

But, in recent years, doctors and experts have begun to rethink psychoactive drugs like ketamine and psilocybin.

These substances may hold the key to treating severe mental illnesses and brain inbalances. While research is still being conducted on the effects of ketamine, there is hope that it may drastically reduce the amount of time that patients with severe depression and anxiety need to receive institutionalized care. For more information on ketamine and its effects, talk to a healthcare professional near you.


3 June 2021