A 64-year-old male asked:
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is ketamine a viable anti-depressant drug therapy? vfhjr.

3 doctor answers
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali answered
31 years experience Psychiatry
Ketamine: This is a drug used in human & veterinary medicine to induce & maintain general anesthesia in conjunction with a sedative. It can be used in bipolar depressed patients who do not respond to antidepressants, but can induce hallucinations. It is, however, liver toxic.
Answered on Aug 29, 2014
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2 thanks
Dr. Pamela Pappas
41 years experience Psychiatry
Ketamine: Ketamine offers very interesting possibilities for depressed patients who don't respond to standard therapies. It does induce dissociation and sometimes hallucinations, but in some there's an antidepressant effect that lasts for several hours/days after those are gone. Some drawbacks: can be liver damage; it must be given IV in a controlled setting; effects may wear off. All is being studied.
Answered on Apr 30, 2016
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Dr. Kevin McElroy
10 years experience Anesthesiology
We don't know yet: Although ketamine has gotten press recently surrounding some studies which have shown a significant benefit in the setting of acute depressive episodes, there have yet to be adequate studies supporting its use as an anti-depressant. There are significant safety concerns regarding ketamine, including perceptual changes and hallucinations. At high doses, it induces general anesthesia.
Answered on Aug 29, 2014
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