Anesthetic Ketamine Can Serve as Fast-Acting Antidepressant

The anesthetic ketamine may produce a fast-acting antidepressant response in patients with treatment-resistant depression, according to a study published in the journal Nature and reported on PsychCentral.

According to researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the drug can serve as a fast-acting antidepressant even at low doses. The study found that ketamine produces a sharp increase that immediately relieves depression, and the researchers are continuing their investigation to determine whether other drugs provide the same relief from depression.

However, the benefits of ketamine may be offset by significant risk factors: Over the past decade, the United States has seen a sharp increase in the abuse of ketamine, which can cause hallucinations, dissociation and high blood pressure. Repeated use has also been linked to impaired memory and concentration.

The drug is currently only approved by the FDA for pediatric and veterinary anesthesia.

Read the PsychCentral report on ketamine.

Related Articles on Anesthesia:
Anesthesia Through Catheter Requires Lower Dose Than Single Spinal Injection
FDA Adds Three Months to Review of Pacira Anesthetic
Maquet Flow-i Anesthesia System Receives FDA Approval

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