Houston doctors are reportedly testing a prescription drug that has been used recreationally as a “club drug” as a possible new treatment for severe depression.
Researchers at the Neuro Psychiatric Center next to Ben Taub General Hospital are trying to determine if the drug Ketamine is effective in treating patients with severe depression.
The drug, which is illegal to possess, can have strong hallucinogenic affects in large doses. But Ketamine – sometimes called “Special K” on the street – can also ease symptoms of depression and is being studied for possible use as a quick, stopgap treatment in severe cases.
Most antidepressants like Prozac take weeks to take effect. Ketamine might be used in the interim to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of suicide, doctors say.
Scientists are giving trial patients one infusion of either Ketamine or a placebo and comparing the results.