How does Ketamine work?

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Ketamine, an FDA approved anesthetic agent, is being used off label to treat a variety of mental health issues.  While there is the most research for treatment refractory depression (including bipolar depression), suicidal ideation, PTSD, and addiction, there is also research suggesting beneficial effects for OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, and end of life care.     A Unique Mechanism of Action:     Compared to other antidepressants, ketamine has a unique mechanism of action.  Whereas most antidepressants affect levels of serotonin, ketamine works on a different receptor, called the NMDA receptor.  The NMDA receptor plays a role in […]

Is Ketamine a Psychedelic Medicine?

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Technically, ketamine is not classified as a psychedelic medicine, but rather a dissociative anesthetic.  However, ketamine does have psychedelic effects at higher doses.  The classical psychedelics include psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, DMT, and mescaline, which work on a specific serotonin receptor. Ketamine, on the other hand, is an NMDA receptor antagonist which modulates glutamate levels.  […]