Ketamine is a molecule that has been used for years for surgical anesthesia, also been abused as a street recreational drug that some researchers are looking into for a rapid treatment of severe depressive symptoms. It is still largely investigational, largely being administered in research studies and protocols, but there is some preliminary evidence that it may prove beneficial for people in a severe depression. It’s thought not to produce a lasting effect, meaning that someone takes the medication and they remain depression-free for the rest of their life, but it is thought to perhaps jumpstart, if you will, that if someone is severely depressed, perhaps suicidal and they’re administered this medication, that those feelings and thoughts could lift very rapidly, pull them out of that rut if you will, and then other sorts of treatments could then be administered and kick in to try to help maintain them to stay well. There are some potential risks associated with ketamine, which are also still being explored, including the significant concern for addiction as well as effects on blood pressure. Hopefully we’ll know more about this as it continues to be studied.
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