Researchers at Yale have published a study touting the horse tranquilizer Ketamine as an effective anti-depressant at low doses. The drug’s make-happy effect begins almost immediately, unlike regular anti-depressants which can take weeks to work.
Ketamine, a general anesthetic usually administered to children and pets but perhaps best known as a horse tranquilizer, is also highly effective in low doses as an anti-depressant, according a study published Thursday. Researchers at Yale University wrote in the August 20 issue of the journal Science that unlike most anti-depressants on the market which can take weeks to take full effect ketamine can begin to counter depression in hours. “It’s like a magic drug — one dose can work rapidly and last for seven to 10 days,” said Ronald Duman, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Yale and senior author of the study. The researchers noted that ketamine was tested as a rapid treatment for people with suicidal thoughts. Traditional anti-depressants can take several weeks to take effect, they noted.
A similar study at the National Institute of Mental Health found that 70% of patients who did not respond to traditional anti-depressants improved within hours of receiving Ketamine. Let’s hope the ridiculous War On Drugs doesn’t stifle this breakthrough. But don’t rush out to self-medicate either, Ketamine remains a Schedule III drug in the U.S. with a penalty for possession of up to five years in prison.