Fighting Depression with Ketamine

2016-0505 Fighting Depression with Ketamine
Credit: Flo Schuelbe/EyeEm/Getty Images

Excerpt of an article By Heidi Ledford | Nature magazine

The popular club drug ketamine—or ‘Special K’—is also a fast-acting antidepressant, but how it works has eluded scientists. Now a team reports in Nature that the mood-lifting effect may not be caused by the drug itself, but by one of the products formed when the body breaks the drug down into smaller molecules.

ketamine has its drawbacks: some people are turned off by the high—a feeling of dissociation and sensory distortion that lasts for about an hour. For others, the effect is an incentive to misuse the drug. Ketamine is not yet approved to treat depression in the United States, but ketamine clinics have sprung up around the country to administer it off-label.


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Thanks to Heidi Ledford for writing the article; Nature Magazine (Scientific American) for committing its resources to publishing the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the other people, who directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture, text, and links in this post.



  1. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for years, so bad that I couldn’t function.. I have tried every medication with no help and the side effects were so bad. March of this year I survived a brain aneurysm. Thankfully I have only minimum side effects from my brain aneurysm. It has caused my depression and anxiety to become worse with each passing day. I really am grateful to be alive, yet I have many days I wish I had not survived. I can’t work.. I have been put on disability and try to live on half the income I use to make. I have no support and spend everyday home.. I keep hoping for the miracle drug.. I have been in therapy for years, it helps but not really !! Recently my grandson cut his finger and needed stiches. He is only 2 so they gave him ketamine to calm him to stitch him up. It scared me how quickly it effected him. He had a far away look, yet it did work, other wise they would have had to put him under to finish the procedure. I would like more information and the safty of ketamine. Thank you, I’m running out of hope and don’t know how much longer I can continue this way.. I’m losing my thrive..

    1. Pearl, when Ketamine is used as prescribed by a licensed physician, the drug is presumably safe. When it is purchased on the street or used improperly, it could kill you. I am not a physician and I do not feel comfortable providing any more information. There are millions of articles on the internet. At least one of the articles may provide accurate information.

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