Ketamine Is Developed Into A Painkiller Despite Limited Research

As American physicians prescribe less narcotic medicines, ketamine is gaining popularity as a substitute. Ketamine has been used to treat surgical patients’ pain for more than 50 years. These days, the medication is being utilized more often to treat pain, depression, anxiety, and other disorders by for-profit medical facilities and online health services. Some scientists are concerned about the drug’s rising use, though. They claim that the effectiveness of the medication in managing pain has not been well studied. They also fear that, similar to opioids, an excessive number of patients may receive prescriptions for it despite the drug’s potential for abuse and safety concerns. North Carolina-based pain specialist Dr. Padma Gulur works at Duke University. She’s researching the use of ketamine.

She claims that doctors have limited options when it comes to painkillers. Thus, she told The Associated Press, “a small body of research suggesting potential benefits of ketamine may lead to a significant increase in its use.”At Duke, Gulur and her colleagues monitored 300 ketamine-treated individuals. They discovered that almost one-third of them had significant adverse effects that called for medical attention. These included visual issues, unsettling thoughts, and hallucinations. In the months after therapy, ketamine did not lessen the number of prescriptions for opioids, according to Gulur.

The study is being reviewed for possible publication. Ketamine acts on glutamate, a neurotransmitter that is known to affect pain and sadness. Hallucinations are among the powerful effects that even a modest dose of ketamine can have on the brain. Kentucky is the home state of Daniel Bass. Ketamine was prescribed to him to treat pain from an uncommon bone and joint condition. Although the medication lessened his agony, he described the drug’s visual effects as “horrifying.” Fifty years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States approved ketamine as a pain reliever for surgical patients. The majority of physicians can now afford to prescribe the medication, and nurses and other healthcare professionals who have less training can also do so. Ketamine prescriptions have surged by more than 500% since 2017, according to medical data company Epic Research. The most common reason that ketamine was administered was pain, while depression cases have been rapidly increasing as well.


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