BEACON TRANSCRIPT – An American physician decided to engage in an unapproved experiment and prescribed Ketamine to treat depression. Even though the FDA only approves the use of Ketamine as an anesthetic, the drug has grown quite popular among nightclubbers as it can induce euphoric hallucination.
Ketamine Has Become a Popular Street Drug
Super Acid, K-Hole, Special K, K, or Ketamine was approved by the FDA as a method for inducing or maintaining anesthesia. The drug is known for inducing a trance-like feeling while also providing efficient, yet temporary, pain relief. One of its most common side effects are addiction and memory loss.
The dissociative anesthetic can also cause nausea, numbness, vomiting, depression, and acute respiratory failure. When taken in larger doses, the drug can trigger an out-of-body experience, rapidly gaining popularity among thrill seekers.
Is it the Best Medicine for Depression, Though?
Seeing as Ketamine has depression as one of the mildest symptoms, it’s hard to understand why Gerard Sanacora, a psychiatry professor at Yale University, believed the drug is the best medicine for depression doctors can come up with.
While it is not illegal to prescribe medication for conditions other than those approved by the FDA, Ketamine is still a controversial subject in the medical community as little is known about its long-term effects.
When asked about his decision to prescribe a popular street drug to patients struggling with severe depression, Sanacora answered:
“If you have patients that are likely to seriously injure themselves or kill themselves within a short period of time, and they’ve tried the standard treatments, how do you not offer this treatment?”
Should Sanacora Be Offering the Equivalent of Loaded Guns to His Suicidal Patients?
The American Psychiatric Association funded a study on the short-term effectiveness of Ketamine as an antidepressant which discovered that the drug can be used in treating mood disorders, but it was soon abandoned as there were no studies on the long-term effect of the powerful anesthetic.
Dr. Sancora was a part of the team that conducted the study, remaining a fervent supporter of Ketamine, even when the trials ended.
Apart from not knowing Ketamine’s long-term effects on the human body, there are also no studies to show how a patient’s body reacts after the treatment is halted. Doctors are not even sure what the appropriate dose is so patients are advise to think twice before considering Ketamine the best medicine for depression.
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