What if ketamine actually works like an opioid? New study shows that ketamine works in some ways very similar to fentanyl and oxycodone. In last few years ketamine has been used for depression treatment and its popularity is increasing.
This study had only 30 adult participants, which is enough, but another study has to be done, to confirm those results. This relatively small study found out, that ketamine has benefits, when treating depression.
One of the authors of this study, Alan Schatzberg said: “We think ketamine is acting as an opioid.” Alan Schatzberg is well known study’s author and behavioral sciences and psychiatry professor at Stanford University.
Ketamine is an anesthetic, which is commonly given to children in the ER. And of course it is quite popular drug, which may at higher doses cause an out of body experiences like DMT.
What is different about ketamine?
Well most antidepressants like Prozac usually start working after few weeks. But if ketamine is applied via nasal administration or via an infusion it works and makes results with in a few hours.
This new study’s findings have several good pros for ketamine, but the study mentions several important side effects. Ketamine has a lot smaller potent effect on opioid receptors if you compare it to fentanyl or oxycodone. But as Alan Schatzberg said: “that doesn’t mean it is safer.” But on the other hand, when someone takes ketamine for depression, it could lead him to an addiction or even abuse of this drug.
The study shows, that participants who have received ketamine with the placebo, that their symptoms of depression were reduced. But when they received naltrexone, the ketamine effects on participants depression symptoms were almost none. Naltrexone was used as an opioid blocking drug.
The participants who received naltrexone still experienced effects of ketamine, such as hallucinations and etc. The study was ended sooner than expected, due to the results. They were so clear, that the combination of ketamine and naltrexone is clrearly not working.