Ketamine has a long history of being a “club” drug. But now, it has become one of the most significant breakthroughs in treating pain and major depression. You must be wondering how such a drug can hold such promising outcomes. The answer lies in how its works on your brain.
Ketamine temporarily takes over a particular chemical receptor. And with proper medical care, this drug can quickly ease severe pain, trauma, and even major depression. However, it can cause significant trouble if you overuse this drug, mainly if not prescribed by a medical professional.
Many scientists are still researching and testing Ketamine for depression and migraines. It has shown promising results in bringing people out from the depths of depression – the very least one can expect from a drug that has the potential to knock you out.
Ketamine as an anesthetic
Ketamine was first used as an anesthesia and pain reliever in the Vietnam War. This drug can help ease pain at lower doses. However, this drug can create hallucinations and can change your sense of sight and sound if misused. Ketamine abuse can make it hard to move or speak and was often used as a date-rape drug.
According to John Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Ketamine is a miracle if used for medical purposes. On the other hand, it can also cause tragedies if it falls into the wrong hands.
How does Ketamine work for depression?
As said earlier, bringing people back from major depression can feel like a miracle for them. According to much research, Ketamine can ease severe pain and symptoms of depression in just a few hours. So, how does it work?
According to a leading theory, Ketamine stimulates the connections between neurons, known as synapses. In other words, it effectively rewires the brain. It can likely prompt brain connections – that are involved in mood – to regrow.
Furthermore, Ketamine is extremely promising as an antidepressant because of its different mechanism than existing antidepressants. Instead of affecting neurotransmitters like other antidepressants, it affects glutamate – the brain’s most common chemical messenger. This chemical helps neuron connections in learning and memory. Thus, many scientists suspect such neuroplasticity can likely be possible because of Ketamine as an antidepressant.
Ketamine’s Side effects
At high doses, Ketamine can make you go on the verge of becoming unconscious. Being a cousin of psychedelic drugs, it must never be used for recreational purposes. Some other side effects that need emergency medical care are as follows:
- Bloody pee
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Blurry vision
- Pale lips, nails, or skin
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Trouble breathing
- Swollen eyes, face, tongue, or lips
- Irregular heartbeats
- Uncontrollable emotions
- Unusual tiredness
You can likely become addicted or urge higher doses to feel the effects. But this is less likely to happen if you use Ketamine for medical reasons. For people with cardiac disease, an overdose can be life-threatening.
The next step
After finding out the promising results of Ketamine, scientists are working to determine the right doses to treat major depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. In other words, the amount of quantity high enough to treat severe depression and low enough to avoid its unpleasant side effects.