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Is Ketamine Safe?

Is Ketamine Safe?

Ketamine is a dissociative psychedelic drug. While it has been used as an anesthetic in veterinary settings and hospital operating rooms for decades, its popularity is resurfacing as a breakthrough treatment option for treatment-resistant depression. While research is still needed on the precise workings of this drug and its long-term effects and benefits, many medical professionals have seen enough to vouch for its safety and fast-acting effectiveness in treating depression and other mood disorders. If you’re curious about this unique treatment alternative and are wondering whether it’s safe, read on to learn more. 

How Often is Ketamine Taken to Treat Depression?

Many people believe that taking ketamine as a treatment for depression happens every day, like antidepressants. However, it is a powerful psychoactive drug. It should only be given in a controlled ketamine clinic setting by an experienced medical professional for treatment purposes. After each treatment, patients experience significant psychological and physiological effects and are not allowed to drive for 24 hours. 

Is Ketamine a Safe Treatment Option for Depression?

While research into the safety and efficacy of ketamine is still being conducted, so far, it’s generally considered safe. The main side effects associated with ketamine include the following:

  • Dissociation
  • Sedation
  • Intoxication
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Certain groups and types of people are advised to avoid using ketamine. These include people with the following:

  • A history of schizophrenia or psychosis
  • A history of substance abuse
  • Older adults with dementia symptoms
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Teenagers

Ketamine is thought to be a very beneficial drug for treating teens and older adults with severe depression or thoughts of suicide, as well as for people suffering from PTSD, OCD, alcohol use disorder, and other mood disorders and mental health conditions. However, more detailed research must be conducted into this treatment’s long-term side effects and benefits. 

Ketamine is Not a First-Option Treatment Method

It’s important for people to understand that ketamine isn’t meant to be a first-option treatment method for depression or any condition. It should only be considered an option when other treatments have failed to be effective or when patients with severe mood disorders and mental health issues have failed to respond to other medications.