Friday, July 27, 2007

Club Drug "Special K" Ketamine Found to Relieve Depression Within Hours

What is more commonly known as a horse tranquilizer used by veterinarians, as well as a illicit club drug known as "Special K" has now been found to reduce depressive symptoms in a matter of hours, rather than the days, weeks or months the more tradiational anti-depressants take.

However, side effects are far too dangerous to prescribe- so this finding will support further research into psychopharmacology that will have the similar positive effects, while leaving the dangerous ones behind.

"In the July 23 online edition of Biological Psychiatry, the researchers cautioned that ketamine itself is not appropriate as an antidepressant because of its side effects, which include hallucinations. However, understanding how ketamine operates will help with the development of faster-acting antidepressants, they reported.
Current antidepressants may take weeks or months to have an effect, leaving people suffering with depressive disorders frustrated and at risk for worsening symptoms, including suicide.
"In any other illness of depression's magnitude, patients aren't expected to just accept that their treatments won't start helping them for weeks or months. The value of our research on compounds like ketamine is that it tells us where to look for more precise targets for new kinds of medications that can close the gap," said NIMH Director Dr. Thomas R. Insel. "We're making tremendous progress (FORBES)."

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