Ketamine is a revolutionary and powerful drug used to help patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression; with this in mind researchers are now looking at the way we treat depression and other psychiatric disorders from a different perspective. The success of ketamine has shed new light on how depression affects the brain, enabling researchers to more effectively treat symptoms. New antidepressants have not hit the market in decades, so ketamine for depression—and the information it has given us about how the brain functions—is an especially big breakthrough. Janssen Pharmaceutical and Allergan have both developed ketamine-like drugs, both of which are progressing rapidly through clinical trials.

Janssen Pharmaceutical is developing an intranasal isomer of ketamine called esketamine. It was awarded breakthrough status by the FDA, which means the development is fast-tracked due to positive results. The intranasal drug has already passed phases I, II and III of the clinical trials and is in the process of seeking official FDA approval. Esketamine’s pending approval looks promising.

Another pharmaceutical company, Allergan, has received breakthrough status from the FDA for their new depression treatment, rapastinel. This drug is said to be chemically different from ketamine, but with the same effect on the brain. Allergan has completed phase II of the clinical trials, and will continue with hope that next year will bring successes in phase III of clinical trials.

As for traditional ketamine infusions, they continue to be highly and rapidly effective for the treatment of depression. While some critics note hallucinogenic or dissociative side effects and claim there is high risk for abuse, the truth is that side effects, if any, are generally mild and wear off within two hours after the treatment. Ketamine is also rarely permitted as a take-home solution, and must be administered in a clinic under medical supervision,thereby reducing the risk of abuse.

Whether you are of the school that ketamine is a breakthrough depression treatment, or believe that ketamine is risky, the science behind this drug and its effects on the brain is inarguably guiding researchers to more effectively treat depression and other psychiatric disorders—and that will ultimately help more people get back on their feet and chase their dreams.

Contact Ascend Ketamine

Our Houston-area ketamine clinic and depression treatment center has helped countless patients reclaim their lives and leave their depressive symptoms behind. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, anxiety or PTSD, we are happy to offer a free consultation to answer your questions about ketamine infusions and help you determine if they could be a beacon of hope in your life.