At-home Ketamine for anxiety and depression…sounds interesting but does it work?
There is an explosion of interest in how psychedelics and other kinds of alternatives might be used to treat depression and anxiety, diseases that are notoriously difficult to treat, particularly for the long-term. Further, lots of prescribed medication for anxiety and depression come with a slew of side effects and withdrawal symptoms when you want to stop. If you scroll back through my Causes or Cures podcast, you’ll find two episodes: One with a doctor on her experience with benzodiazepines (often prescribed for anxiety) and trying to withdraw from treatment, and one with a doctor (PhD) who researchers antidepressants and side effects. That particular episode focused on how withdrawal from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) took longer than 2 weeks. (If you go to my podcast link here, you can scroll through and find them.)
In a recent episode of Causes or Cures, I chatted with Jack Swain, head of clinical operations at Mindbloom. Mindbloom is a mental health and wellness company dedicated to expanding science-based treatments for depression and anxiety, and they are starting with at-home Ketamine for anxiety and depression that is supplemented with telehealth and peer support.
In this episode, Jack will discuss a recent study involving Mindbloom that was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in October’22. He will discuss what Ketamine is, the theory for why it helps with depression and anxiety, and Ketamine’s disassociation effect. He breaks down the “methods” section of the research (what the outcomes were, how they were measured, and how the study was set up) and the results of the study. He talks about safety concerns and side effects with Ketamine and finally, the benefits of sublingual (under-the-tongue) Ketamine vs IV Ketamine. He’ll also touch on what else is in store for Mindbloom.
You can check out the episode here.
If you are interested in psychedelic medicine and the ongoing research, also check out this recent episode with a researcher who studies psychedelics for weight loss and metabolism.
In addition to at-home ketamine for anxiety and depression, I invite you to check out some of my scientific communications (scicomms) musings. I recently wrote a piece on the “public health equilibrium” which you can read here.
Thanks so much for listening to the podcast! And thanks to anyone who subscribed and/or left a review. I really appreciate it. 🙂