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Party Drug Ketamine Could Be Used To Treat Depression

Party Drug Ketamine Could Be Used To Treat Depression

You probably know ketamine, otherwise known as "special K," as a scary, powerful drug - a drug intended to be used as a tranquilizer that's turned into one for the party scene. But now - it could be used to treat depression.

BBC reports that doctors in the UK tested the drug on 28 people who have been battling depression for years - they found that some patients noticed their symptoms disappearing just hours after taking low doses of the drug.

The trial's lead researcher told The Guardian reporters, "We've seen remarkable changes in people who've had severe depression for many years that no other treatment has touched. It's very moving to witness." (Via )

During the study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, each of the 28 patients were given around 80 milligrams of ketamine in a controlled and monitored environment.

Over the course of three weeks, the participants were given up to six infusions of the drug that lasted 40 minutes each. The research team then gave them cognitive tests to assess brain function.

After those three weeks were up, researchers in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found in the people who actually responded to the treatment, reported no symptoms for between 25 days and eight months.

And, though ketamine can cause bladder damage and impaired brain function when taken recreationally, the low doses administered during the study didn't cause either in any of the participants, as Nature World News reports.

Now, it's actually no secret that ketamine could help those with depression - research teams around the world have been studying its potential use for years.

And the results of this newest study are promising. But as the BBC points out, the short duration of the drug's effect is still a problem. And there are some serious side effects to worry about too, including the possibility of the supply of blood to the brain being interrupted.

The study's lead author says they are now working to build up clinical experience with ketamine in a small number of monitored patients in order to find a way to "prolong its dramatic effect." As of now, the team has given 400 infusions to a total of 45 patients.

Join the discussion

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Laura April 03 2014 at 2:29 PM

Night magic you are very ill informed about depression. No one wants to be depressed nor are we all "well off". Being empathetic is not required and better informed would do you and others well

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nikkitytom April 03 2014 at 2:20 PM

Yep ... let's stall this for years because it has been used as a "party "drug. Let's stymie all research. Let's make sure we create an atmosphere of paranoia because it might get you "high".

Meanwhile just switch onto your TV and see the ads for legal pharmaceuticals ... and the warnings. Listen carefully and you'll be horrified at the list of possible dangers ... nearly all ending with "sudden death' or "stroke". Two or three DOZEN possible after effects ... and they're still marketing this stuff. Because there's MONEY in it.

And marijuana is still illegal throughout most of the country. With research blocked all around. When are we going to wake up and speak up and take back common sense and sanity.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
lbreamer April 03 2014 at 12:47 PM

Okay, so if it helps people suffering with depression then get it out there & start treating them!
I don't know what's to keep people from selling their prescriptions though, which is a downfall for
any drug... If I had the opportunity to try something that would help me like that, I wouldn't want to sell it to someone who only wanted it to get high. But that's just me.

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1 reply
shawneena06 lbreamer April 03 2014 at 1:10 PM

I'm with you! Some of the meds I'm on apparently have a high street value if sold. But for me...there's NO PRICE high enough for someone to pay me if it means I have to go without it. Actually, even if I don't have to go without it. If you misuse prescribed meds, it's still drug abuse and I'm just not cool with even contributing to someone's addiction.

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joeknowswoodies April 03 2014 at 12:14 PM

No comment

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natalie April 03 2014 at 3:36 PM

BUT IS IT SAFE???? WHAT ARE THE OTHER SIDE EFFECTS?

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shawneena06 April 03 2014 at 12:44 PM

"And there are some serious side effects to worry about too, including the possibility of the supply of blood to the brain being interrupted." ---- But hey...at least you won't be depressed about it, right??

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milprilc April 03 2014 at 12:24 PM

unreal

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madddddddddddddd April 03 2014 at 12:24 PM

meowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww,,get ur own stuff, humans,,leave cool cats alone

Flag Reply 0 rate up
nightmagic23103 April 03 2014 at 2:10 PM

Hey . . cocaine cures depression too! But you really do not want to use it. Doctors / Pharms will PUSH anything as well for money. It is not just your corner bad guy.

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nightmagic23103 April 03 2014 at 2:16 PM

If all of the poor depressed (but reasonably well off) western individuals were sent to a violent, brutal, starving, repressed country . . .they would quickly miss their old depressed life. If you are depressed, go out and find someone worse of than you and help them. Having "the blues" is something that everybody gets and everybody learns to deal with them. Happiness is not a constitutional right . . . only the pursuit of it is.

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