Le Lézard
Classified in: Health
Subject: FDA

Imminent FDA Approval of Addictive Ketamine for Depression Brings Back Echoes from the Opiate Epidemic

WEST ORANGE, N.J., March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- FDA's approval of ketamine to address depression classified as 'treatment resistant' is a double-edged sword. "Ketamine is currently used as an anesthetic, but it is also an abusable, addictive street drug," commented Indra Cidambi, M.D., Addiction Expert and Medical Director at Center for Network Therapy (CNT). The approved medication is low dose and has to be administered at a facility, limiting abuse potential. "It is welcome news for millions of patients suffering from untreated depression who could now find relief," said Dr. Cidambi. However, she cautioned, "If the cost to the patient is high and access to ketamine treatment difficult, it could divert demand to inexpensive street ketamine for immediate symptom relief and cause an explosion in addiction to ketamine."

(PRNewsfoto/Center for Network Therapy)

FDA-approved ketamine, or esketamine, is low-dose (28mg nasal spray) and well below the threshold for delivering a high. The FDA recommends that patients try 2 traditional antidepressants before their depression can be classified as 'treatment resistant.' A patient may require 10-12 ketamine treatments a year. In addition, this medication has to be administered at the physician's office, not given out as a prescription. Consequently, the risk of the FDA-approved ketamine being abused or diverted is low.

"More than one of three of 16 million individuals with depression in America do not receive any treatment and 3 of 10 individuals prescribed antidepressants do not derive any benefit from it, suggesting millions of patients with depression could now find relief with ketamine," said Dr. Cidambi. Besides, ketamine provides immediate relief from depression symptoms while traditional antidepressants take weeks to kick in.

However, FDA approval of ketamine could cause collateral damage. "It is important to remember that 1 in 5 individuals addicted to drugs are using street drugs to self-medicate their unmet mental health care needs," noted Dr. Cidambi. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic used in humans and animals, but it is mostly used by veterinarians. Individuals who abuse Ketamine (injected, snorted or smoked) need large doses (over 100mg, about $10) and it causes a dream-like state, detachment from reality, altered perceptions and hallucinations.

"FDA's stamp of approval for ketamine to treat depression could encourage patients who have no access to treatment or those who find it difficult to access ketamine treatment to seek ketamine on the street to self-medicate symptoms of depression," cautioned Dr. Cidambi. Ketamine is an inexpensive street drug (likely much cheaper than when obtained through legal channels) and it provides immediate relief from symptoms, incentivizing patients with depression symptoms to gravitate to this alternative. "This could cause an explosion in addiction to ketamine, which currently is not very common," added Dr. Cidambi.

"Recall that when states belatedly started to implement restrictions on opiate pain pill prescriptions, many patients who were already on opiate prescriptions turned to street heroin for relief from pain or withdrawal symptoms," cautioned Dr. Cidambi.

About Dr. Cidambi
Indra Cidambi, M.D., Medical Director, Center for Network Therapy, is a pioneer in Addiction Treatment. She introduced Ambulatory Detoxification for treating withdrawal from Alcohol, Benzodiazepines, and Opiates. She has a fellowship in addiction from NYU/Bellevue and is board certified in Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry.

About Center for Network Therapy (CNT)
CNT is New Jersey's first facility to be licensed to provide Ambulatory (Outpatient) Detoxification and Withdrawal Management for alcohol, anesthetics, benzodiazepines, and opiates. Led by Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, Indra Cidambi, M.D., experienced physicians and nurses provide high-quality treatment. Dr. Cidambi and team have successfully detoxed over 1500 patients in 5+ years.

SOURCE Center for Network Therapy

These press releases may also interest you

at 17:30
SpeakEasy Cannabis Club Ltd.  (the "Company" or "SpeakEasy") is pleased to announce that it has closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement (the "Private Placement") for aggregate gross proceeds of $1,315,000.  The Private...

at 17:23
Tosuta International Sales Ltd. is recalling Landers' Australian brand Gluten free Macadamia Shortbread from the marketplace because it contains milk which is not declared on the label. People with an allergy to milk should not consume the recalled...

at 17:10
Food and nutrition industry leaders recently met at the Industry Nutrition Forum in Philadelphia to share information and ideas about working toward sustainable nutrition security nationwide, increasing accessibility to nutritious foods for a greater...

at 17:00
What:           Candlelight vigil mourning Southcoast Hospitals Group's decision to close the maternity unit at Wareham's Tobey Hospital Where:        43 High Street, Wareham When:          Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. Who:             Tobey...

at 16:43
Almirall LLC today announced the publication of long-term safety data from a 40 week, Phase 3 open-label extension study of Seysara® in patients 9 years of age and older. Seysara® is a novel tetracycline-derived oral antibiotic developed specifically...

at 16:43
The auction features work from artists who participated in the PAINT (RED) SAVE LIVES global art campaign earlier this year, which saw an army of over 30 artists supporting (RED) and the AIDS fight by creating extraordinary, unique murals and...

News published on 4 march 2019 at 10:38 and distributed by: