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Ketamine Therapy in the Treatment of Suicidal Ideation
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The Role of Ketamine Therapy in the Treatment of Suicidal Ideation

Ketamine is a well-known anesthetic agent. Ketamine is still used in medicine for the purpose of anesthesia induction. Similarly, it is also used to treat a range of treatment-resistant diseases which may include pain disorders as well as chronic depression.

Intravenous ketamine therapy has shown remarkable success in treating various diseases in countless placebo-controlled clinical trials along with various case studies. Interestingly, the most recognized accomplishment of this therapy is its use for the treatment of chronic depression. Initially, ketamine was considered as the highly effective method to treat certain depressive cases but now it is also being used to cure many subtypes of chronic diseases such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the two mental illnesses – depression and suicidality – are quite different.

In order to prove this, a clinical study was conducted recently. This study aimed at determining the efficacy of ketamine therapy in treating suicidal cognition in patients having symptoms of treatment-resistant unipolar chronic depression.

The patients who participated in the study failed to show an adequate response against the three major antidepressant medications. Since there is no FDA-approved drug for suicidality treatment, some researchers evaluated the effectiveness of ketamine against suicidality and the outcome was great.

During the therapy, 57 patients were assessed for their responsiveness, and the results were published in the Journal of Depression and Anxiety. To assess the results, researchers used midazolam, psychoactive placebo and a composite index of explicit suicidal ideation.

As per the results of the study, intravenous ketamine therapy had rapid effects on suicidal cognition as compared to the results of the active placebo group.

While ketamine therapy is effective to treat various treatment-resistant diseases, it has also become one of the most recommended therapies by many professional psychiatrists all over the world for suicidality.

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