Samuel Gershon: Ketamine, the “new” breakthrough in the treatment of depression


         The newspapers have told us that we now have a “new” breakthrough discovery which can replace the previous bunch of antidepressants.

          As you know, ketamine is related to the Sernyl, a phencyclidine, as well as to hallucinogens and anesthetics.

         IV ketamine has been in use for depression with mixed reports. The currently marketed version is presented as a nasal spray. The patents for this are held by Dennis Charney, Dean of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

         The FDA altered the requirements of approval for this product to get it on market quickly, yet it has the side effects of the aforementioned compounds: hallucinations, changes in body feelings and addiction.

         A “one star” study reported in the New York Times presented that almost 3,000 cases had been treated with a good response. Cases of what, depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc.???  With this is the statement that the previous groups of antidepressants have barely shown a superiority to placebo at best.

         So, it seems we have been launched on a new ride of magic.


July 18, 2019