Ketamine is an anesthetic used primarily by veterinarians but may soon be used as an antidepressant
Antidepressants such as prozac, zoloft, lexapro, paxil and celexa are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) that can take weeks before showing any benefits and can cause significant adverse effects. Ketamine shows a significant positive response within days, but has produce side effects such as hallucinations, out-of-body feelings, disorientation and even amnesia that can last for hours.
AZD6765 is a mimic drug of Ketamine; it is manufactured by AstraZeneca and is a fast-acting antidepressant that has shown no significant side effects. However, while AZD6765 showed no signs of significant side effects, it was not nearly as effective as Ketamine itself. “The antidepressant effects of AZD6765 were not as robust or sustained as those observed in our previous study of ketamine.”
A study of AZD6765, published in Biological Psychiatry, included 22 participants with depression all of which did not respond to other antidepressants or “talk therapy”. Those assigned to AZD6765 showed a 32% improvement in mood, compared to only 15% of those assigned to a placebo. Over 17% of patients reached full remission, which lasted two days. However, 71% of patients who took ketamine had a positive response within a day, and the effects lasted for a week.
“Future studies with this compound are warranted on the basis of the positive antidepressant signal here, particularly those exploring efficacy and tolerability associated with higher or repeated doses.” the study concludes
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