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MDLinxThe Controversy Surrounding Ketamine Continues. Should You Be Prescribing It?

Ketamine: A Potential Breakthrough or a Path to Controversy?

The use of ketamine, a once-labeled “dissociative anesthetic” and psychedelic club drug, has been increasingly popular in treating certain neurological conditions and psychiatric disorders. However, the landscape surrounding its use is complex and controversial.

Key Points

  • Ketamine is used to treat neurological conditions, including migraine, seizure, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
  • It is also considered a potential treatment for patients with treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychiatric issues.
  • Despite its potential benefits, ketamine is not FDA-approved for treating any psychiatric disorders.
  • The off-label use of ketamine is not illegal, leading to an increase in online providers offering ketamine therapy.
  • The FDA has issued warnings about the potential risks associated with compounded ketamine products.

FDA approval is a function of a lot of things, including economics. There’s a long application system, and the process costs hundreds of millions of dollars. Ketamine is off-patent and it’s old, so no one owns rights for it. But any drug company would be thrilled to get ketamine in their roster if they could have rights to it.
– David Feifel, MD, PhD, director of Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute

More on Off-Label Use

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