Acting benefits of ketamine for depression and suicidality

Ketamine-can-mitigate-major-depression

"Major depressive disorder is among the most prevalent mental health conditions, affecting almost 300 million people globally, and the diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide". It was funded by Janssen Research and Development, LLC.

During a trial study, the patients and doctors observed a notable recovery in just a few hours of the applied treatment and noted significantly reduced symptoms of the patients who were suffering from a critically higher risk of suicide. "While conventional antidepressants can be effective in treating suicidal ideation, their delayed onset limits their utility in acutely suicidal patients".

The results of the study support nasal spray esketamine as a possible effective rapid treatment for depressive symptoms in patients assessed to be at imminent risk for suicide, according to the authors. In this double-blind, proof-of-concept study, researchers examined the efficacy and safety of intranasal esketamine vs. placebo for the rapid reduction of depressive symptoms and suicidality in patients with major depression.

Half the patients also received a nasal spray of esketamine, one of the two molecule components in ketamine, while the others received a placebo. At 25 days, the effects of the ketamine spray had stabilized, being no more effective than the placebo treatment.

Researchers in the U.S. treated people with the drug via a nasal spray, and said they found a "significant" improvement in symptoms in the first 24 hours.

Those who used esketamine had a much bigger improvement in depression symptoms over the first four weeks of treatment, but at 25 days, the effects had evened out.

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Intranasal esketamine was generally well-tolerated, according to the authors. The most common events among those receiving esketamine were nausea, dizziness, dissociation, unpleasant taste and headache.

Ketamine can mitigate major depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a US study. "The results of this study reinforce the potential of esketamine as an acute treatment for patients in crisis". The nasal spray will be required to undergo phase 3 trials before potential approval by the FDA.

However, the researchers, as well as members of the AJP Editorial Board, acknowledged the risky potential for abuse that surrounds the drug.

"Education of the public and physicians needs to balance both potential benefits and the risk of abuse". The scientists caution that more research is needed on the potential for abuse of ketamine.

Ketamine could be used to treat people at imminent risk of suicide.

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