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Ketamine May Be a New Antidepressant Drug: Here’s Why

Ketamine May Be a New Antidepressant Drug: Here’s Why

Ketamine is emerging as a new treatment for some types of depression. It is considered an important discovery, for some people, it may be a lifeline. The compound has a reputation as a party drug, but ketamine is increasingly being studied for potential use as a treatment for depression. Learn how this came about and what it means for the future of treatment for depression.

A Troubling Problem

Ketamine has the ability to increase activity in the parts of the brain linked with reward processing, which would help explain some of the antidepressant effects. Two of the biggest problems for people experiencing depression are lack of access to mental health care and the stigma that shrouds mental illness. With asthma, it is not considered your fault. Somehow if part of the brain is not functioning, it is not your fault. It is easy to see why a new approach would inspire hope for millions of people who suffer from some form of depression.

New Drug, New Promise

Doctors have been giving the same drugs to people with depression for decades. Research suggests antidepressants can work wonders for some people but not necessarily everyone. Medications also come with a range of unpleasant side effects that can include weight gain, less interest in sex, anxiety, and insomnia. Psychedelic drugs are making their way into our collective lexicon of available opportunities to fight back against mental illness. This includes ayahuasca and magic mushrooms. These drugs remain illegal and there are controversies surrounding their overall effectiveness when compared to the risk. However, ketamine may be a safer alternative for people since it is legal and new research is showing promising results.

Long-Term Results

Some people with depression cope by paying for treatments that can be very costly. A ketamine infusion can be expensive and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the existing drug or new formulations for treatment of depression. This ‘off-label’ use of the drug means it is up to health insurance providers to decide whether to offer reimbursement for treatment. This can put the option out of range for many people who cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs. There are also side effects, including high blood pressure. There may be other complications that are unknown because the drug has not been tested long enough. There may be potential but there may also be potential risks, which can keep the drug from becoming available on the open market. Until then, it is best to continue with treatments that are available and seek mental health support from professionals who can help.

Mental health support is necessary if you are to succeed in recovery. It is a daunting process and you need a safe community who is there to support your journey. We provide that safe community where you can detox, get clean, and focus on recovery. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number to get started: 866-294-9401