Ketamine shows 'game-changing' effect on suicide prevention

Posted on June 18, 2014

The results show that the drug known on the streets as 'special K,' was effective - at least temporarily - for most trial participants, who were all patients with major depressive disorder and who had exhausted all other treatments.

"The real advantage here is that the effect is almost instantaneous and that it appears to work on the majority of patients."

Current drugs for depression can take up to 8 weeks to reach full effect. Also, it is not easy to match the right drug to the right patient, which has to be done by trial and error.

"This could be of real benefit if a patient is suicidal, as it could help yank them out of that really dark place," says Prof. Loo, who also explains how ketamine works:

"Ketamine powerfully reverses structural changes in the brain that occur when someone is depressed. In a sense, the treatment is repairing or reversing those changes."

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Category(s):Suicide Prevention

Source material from Medical News Today

Mental Health News