Is Ketamine-Based Treatment Approved By The FDA?

You have probably heard the street terms, like “Special K,” and maybe a few horror stories about ketamine.

But did you know ketamine also helps children? Or soldiers?

The drug has been used in radiation and burn therapy. It is used on the battlefield when injuries have to be treated on the spot.  And for children who have adverse reactions to other anesthetics, ketamine is the best way to get a kid through surgery or a medical procedure that requires dulling pain.

The FDA approved ketamine for these uses in 1962.

In the late 80’s, some groups on the West Coast began to add ketamine to ecstasy, and other illicit uses of “Special K” began to spread, which led the federal government to classify it as a Schedule III drug and gave the substance a bad name in the media and many circles of concerned citizens.

However, ketamine is a very useful substance, whose potential is only beginning to be unlocked.


What does ketamine actually do?

Ketamine is a dissociative drug, meaning it changes the way users perceive things, with anesthetic properties.

It has an incredibly low side effect profile compared to other painkillers and sedatives, and symptoms from use fade quickly as soon as use stops.

Recent discoveries even indicate that ketamine can help repair the neural pathways responsible for the transmission of Glutamate, the most important neurotransmitter for normal brain function.

These benefits have led medical professionals to begin “off-label” uses of this substance to explore its possibilities and to better help patients.


What is “off-label” medication use?

Getting FDA approval for a specific drug generally costs about $1.2 BILLION over a decade of testing and trials.

So physicians and patients often decide together to use a drug for a purpose not approved by the FDA. This is “off-label” use.

Using medications off label is a normal and vital practice in medicine.

Pharmaceutical companies fund studies to get medications approved for specific purposes, and over time, some of these compounds prove to have use outside of their intended effect.

Many common medication uses were discovered this way, from blood pressure medicine being used to also treat ADHD to birth control lessening symptoms of endometriosis, migraines, and even acne.

So mental health treatment for ketamine is not yet FDA approved.

However, that does not mean that methods using ketamine to treat anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction are not tried and true. They are.


True North Wellness Center has seen success using ketamine to treat depression and more

Dr. Sortino, of True North Wellness Center, has been instrumental in developing safe and effective ways to apply ketamine to treatment of mental health disorders like depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and addiction withdrawal.

He spends a lot of time with each individual patient, evaluating when ketamine can supplement treatment for mental health conditions. The entire process is overseen by a doctor, and ketamine is administered in very low doses.

Reviewers report they can sleep when they couldn’t before, ended suicidal thoughts, safely stopped taking daily depression medication, and had a better life quality overall.

To see if ketamine treatment is right for you, give us a call at (561) 264-8169.

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