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CNN: Party drug ketamine closer to approval for depression

This week, The Food and Drug Administration put the experimental drug esketamine (also known as ketamine) on the fast track to official approval for use in treating major depression.

Thr drug would provide a new way to treat patients with suicidal tendencies.

Esketamine has a reputation that comes with it, the medicine is known on the street as "Special K", and is sometimes used as a date rape drug. 

CNN spoke with OhioHealth's Dr. Julie Coffman, a physician specializing in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine about the drug - how it works and it's efficacy.  To read the story, click on the CNN logo. 

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FDA Fast-Tracks 'Party Drug' Ketamine as Possible Depression Treatment

The experimental drug esketamine (also known as ketamine) has been placed on the fast track for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for treating major depression, according to Janssen Pharmaceutical.

Ketamine -- perhaps best known as a street drug -- is listed by the World Health Organization as an important anesthetic and has been used off-label for pain, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, CNN reported.

In 1970, the drug received FDA approval for use in people and was used on American soldiers in Vietnam as an analgesic and sedative. However, doctors became reluctant to use it because it caused minor hallucinogenic side effects.

If the new use gets the go-ahead from the FDA, it would be the first new treatment for major depression approved in about half a century, according to CNN.


Last Updated: Aug. 18, 2016
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