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Ketamine for Depression Treatment: Valid Option or Recreational Drug?

ketamine-for-depression_WATERSHEDOne of the most controversial topics up for debate involves using ketamine for depression treatment.  The drug ketamine, also widely known as Special K when sold illegally on the street, produces anesthetic effects, which is why it is used by doctors and veterinarians for medicinal uses on patients for practical procedures in which it would serve its utmost effective purpose.  Scientific research has uncovered in recent years that ketamine may have benefits when it comes to providing relief for individuals suffering from depression.  However, because it was deemed an illegal substance, the benefits had not yet outweighed the cons, and more studies needed to be conducted.  Naurex, a company launched in Evansto, Illinois, is in the third stage of their development in conjuring GLYX-13, a ketamine-based drug that supposedly lacks the negative effects that keep the substance prohibited by federal law, and yet still claim to alleviate depression.

Naurex Pushes Ketamine for Depression Treatment

Naurex is anxious to have the FDA approve GLYX-13 by 2019.  The ketamine-based drug has already shown a positive impact on over half of the participants it was given to during the trial period.  The drug was administered intravenously, with the option of it being each week or every other week.  In addition to this, the company has also invested into the development of an oral concept of the drug.  Other companies like Johnson & Johnson and Cerecor, a small private company in Baltimore, Maryland, have also been working with subsidiaries of ketamine.

Ketamine for depression has showed far more promise, as opposed to traditional antidepressant medication, due to the instantaneous results.  The effectiveness of this ketamine-based drug can be seen after a matter of hours, as opposed to weeks and even a full year with antidepressants.  Harry M. Tracy, publisher of Neuro Perspective on psychiatry and drugs, claims the recent movement with ketamine for depression to be the “most promising compound in the depression space in terms of effect and durability.”  Ketamine could be groundbreaking in the sense that it is new, and for some people, they may not need to consistently be taking antidepressants. Maggie, a patient for the trial, stated to the  The New York Times, “Never ever before have I felt like that…I woke up the next morning, and I didn’t take an antidepressant for the first time in 20 years.”  This treatment is revolutionary, but does come at a price.  It isn’t necessarily covered by insurance, and this form of treatment could cost you anywhere from $300 to up to $1,000 a time.

Drawing the Line

Ketamine for depression treatment remains in debate limbo because it is widely known as an illegal substance with dangerous effects.  It should be taken into account that even with certain properties removed from the chemical to reduce its “out-of-body” effects,  it still may not be safe to use by individuals suffering from the disease of addiction.  The truth is that a drug is a drug, and the phenomenon of craving may ensue.  With this, a yearning of more of that or another substance may lead them back into the spiral of addiction.  This can be avoided as long as they stray away from all mind-altering substances.

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