In Depressed Patients, Rapidly Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts

As per the new study, has found that in decreasing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients, ketamine is significantly more effective than a commonly utilized sedative. Scientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) also found that ketamine’s anti-suicidal effects occurred within hours after its administration.

Michael Grunebaum, M.D., a research psychiatrist at CUMC, who led the study said, “There is a critical window in which depressed patients who are suicidal need rapid relief to prevent self-harm”. Currently available antidepressants can be effective in decreasing suicidal thoughts in patients with depression; however, they can take a long time to have results.

Suicidal, depressed patients when they are at highest risk, require treatments in reducing suicidal thoughts that are rapidly effective. Currently, there is no such treatment for rapid relief of suicidal thoughts in depressed patients.”

The scientists noted, in this population most antidepressant trials have excluded patients with suicidal thoughts and behavior, limiting information on the effectiveness of antidepressants.

However, previous examinations have demonstrated that low dosages of ketamine, an anesthetic drug, cause a rapid reduction in depression symptoms and might be accompanied by a decrease in suicidal thoughts. The 80 depressed adults to get an infusion of low- dose ketamine or midazolam, a sedative, who enrolled in the investigation with clinically significant suicidal thoughts, were randomly assigned.

Within 24 hours, the ketamine group had a clinically significant diminishment in suicidal thoughts compared with the midazolam group, specialists report. The change in suicidal thoughts and depression in the ketamine group seemed to hold on for up to a month and a half, analysts add.

Those in the ketamine group also had a greater change in overall mood, depression, and fatigue compared and the midazolam group, the research found.

Approximately 33% of its effect on suicidal thoughts ketamine’s impact on depression represented, recommending the treatment has a particular anti-suicidal effect, the scientists said.

Side effects, mainly dissociation feeling spacey and an increase in blood pressure during the infusion were mild to moderate and typically resolved within minutes to hours after receiving ketamine, the analyst’s report.

Grunebaum said, “This examination demonstrates that ketamine offers promise as a rapidly acting treatment for reducing suicidal thoughts in patients with depression”.

“Further research to evaluate ketamine’s antidepressant and anti-suicidal effects may prepare for the advancement of new antidepressant medications that are faster acting and can potentially help people who don’t respond to currently available treatments.”


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