Ketamine research on the upswing for severe depression

Interest in the dissociative anesthetic ketamine continues to be strong as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression and similar conditions.

But the enthusiasm surrounding the drug is likely higher than the quality of evidence supporting its use to treat severe depression.

Research into the drug’s potential to treat depression, however, is ramping up.

One recent small study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that a single dose of the drug reduced the severity of depression in individuals with suicidal ideation.

The study administered intravenous ketamine to 39 participants and midazolam, a benzodiazepine, to another 39. Investigators administered ketamine at relatively low dose levels where it did not have an anesthetic effect.

The blinded study also found that the drug made patients feel safer, and it also quickly improved neurocognition. In addition, it provided persistent therapeutic effects for up to six weeks afte…

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What the ketamine boom could mean for pharma

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

The demand for ketamine has surged in recent years as interest in its off-label use for treating depression, anxiety and PTSD has grown.

Ketamine has been “shown to be very effective,” said Linnea Butler, founder and CEO of Bay Area Mental Health (Campbell, California), which recently began offering ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Also this week, Earlier this week, Pasithea Therapeutics Corp. (NSDQ:KTTA), announced the launch of the first U.K.-based ketamine infusion clinic.

And separately, Delic Holdings (CSE: DELC) announced two new alliances between Ketamine Wellness Centers (KWC) and the Veterans Administration Community Care Networks of Illinois and Minnesota. KWC plans to provide ketamine for PTSD, depression and chronic pain to veterans at no out-of-pocket cost at their locations in Naperville, Illinois, and Burnsville, Minnesota.

Parke-Davis, now …

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