Ketamine relieves depression within hours

Ketamine may provide insight into new mechanisms for medication development for depression:

A drug used as a general anaesthetic may also work as a remarkably rapid antidepressant, according to a preliminary study.

The drug’s hallucinogenic side effects mean it is unlikely to be prescribed to patients, but it could pave the way to new faster-acting antidepressants, the researchers suggest.

Ketamine is used as an animal tranquiliser, but is perhaps better known as an illicit street drug, sometimes called “special K”. Now researchers have found the drug can relieve depression in some patients within just 2 hours – and continue to do so for a week.