The Ketamine Afterglow: Applications for depression and pain treatments
Background: Studies using ketamine show remarkable, but short-term success in patients with MDD. Studies in patients with chronic pain have used ketamine applications for longer time periods.
Aims: To present a literature review about the use of ketamine for treating depression and pain. Also, to present a qualitative study concerning posts about ketamine use for treating depression on the internet.
Method: 88 scientific articles were scanned. Also, a parallel qualitative study involving online observation was conducted.
Results: The dosages for depression are in the lower range compared to studies that investigated analgesic use. The analysed studies suggest that ketamine may be effective and acceptable in treating MDD and difficult pain syndromes. The efficacy of ketamine as an antidepressant is corroborated by the analysed discourses on Bluelight. No severe side effect was described.
Conclusions: Ketamine appear to be a tool in treating depression and pain with mild side effects.
Tharcila Chaves is a pharmacist with a master’s degree in medicine and sociology of drug abuse (Sao Paulo, Brazil/2009). In her master’s degree, she conducted a qualitative study about cravings in crack cocaine users in the city of Sao Paulo. Currently, she is a PhD student at the University Medical Center Groningen and Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands) with a grant provided by the Ministry of Education of Brazil. Her field of research is ketamine’s pharmacology and the use of ketamine to treat depression and pain.