Ketamine has ‘fast-acting benefits’ for depression

Ketamine has “shown promise” in the rapid treatment of major depression and suicidal thoughts, a US study says.

Ketamine has a reputation as a party drug but is licensed as an anaesthetic.

The study found use of the drug via a nasal spray led to “significant” improvements in depressive symptoms in the first 24 hours.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was a “significant” study that brought the drug “a step closer to being prescribed on the NHS”.

The report by researchers from Janssen Research and Development, a Johnson and Johnson company, and Yale School of Medicine, is the first study into ketamine as a treatment for depression that has been done by a drug company.

It is being published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

 

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