Is Ketamine an Opioid?
Ketamine has earned itself a bad rap as an opioid; however, researchers claim otherwise and aim to restore its reputation as a tool for treating depression that doesn’t respond well to other treatments. The ultimate guide to buy ketamine online.
Researchers discovered that ketamine’s antidepressant effects come from activating the brain’s opioid system rather than its glutamate system, contrary to popular belief. This discovery could alter how antidepressant drugs are developed in the future.
Is Ketamine an Opioid?
Chronic pain and depression patients can find it challenging to find relief, so opioids, including opiates such as morphine and synthetic narcotics, may provide much-needed comfort. Opioids can provide much-needed relief in cases involving backaches, headaches, and surgeries; additionally, they’re effective treatments for severe discomfort due to cancer or other illnesses.
Recent advances have provided doctors with another treatment option for pain and depression in ketamine infusions administered at specialty clinics, providing a faster route to relief than antidepressants alone.
Though some believe ketamine to be an opioid because it binds to similar receptors in the brain, that’s not accurate. Instead, it interacts with NMDA receptors – which play an integral role in learning and memory processes – unlike opioids which bind only with opioid receptors.
Researchers discovered this when they gave 12 patients being treated for depression ketamine and naltrexone, an opioid receptor blocker, to see what would happen. Naltrexone stopped working as an antidepressant but still provided pain-relief benefits from the drug.
Ketamine may provide a promising option for pain management without increasing opioid dependency, with no associated adverse side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, its use may offer relief to those withdrawing from opioids without experiencing withdrawal symptoms as quickly as possible without risking side effects to health or withdrawal symptoms themselves.
Is Ketamine an Opioid Adjunct?
Ketamine can also help treat severe neuropathies and cancer-related discomfort. While initially approved as an anesthetic in 1970, today, ketamine is commonly used off-label for many purposes, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and neuropathies/neoplasm pain syndromes like Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
Recent meta-analyses conducted within emergency departments revealed that lower doses of ketamine administered intravenously or orally for acute pain management are non-inferior to opioids when treating adult acute pain.1
However, due to methodological variations among studies, it can be challenging to compare results between them. Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that ketamine should not be seen as a replacement for opioids but used alongside them for effective pain management.
Ketamine stands apart from opioids because it does not produce respiratory depression and even serves as a bronchodilator in asthmatics. Furthermore, there is less risk of dependence and none of the psychological side effects experienced from using opioids.
Based on these benefits, ketamine has become the subject of much research into treating neuropathies, cancer, and other medical conditions. Now is the time to change how this drug is perceived and utilized to treat chronic pain.
Is Ketamine an Anesthetic?
Ketamine is an anesthetic often employed by doctors in emergency room settings when performing procedures, such as reducing fractures and joint dislocations. Ketamine may be taken either alone or combined with opioids to provide pain relief to patients suffering from severe chronic pain conditions.
Blocking neuronal transmission by binding to NMDA receptors reduces intraoperative and postoperative pain while acting as an antidepressant and mood stabilizer in those suffering from depression. Furthermore, it is an excellent adjunctive drug in managing pain associated with trauma or burn injuries; IV infusion or PCA pumps make dosing easy, with very few side effects making this an excellent option for individuals sensitive to opioid side effects.
Ketamine does not cause respiratory depression like morphine; therefore, it is often used with propofol for procedural sedation in emergency settings such as the emergency department (ER). Furthermore, ketamine has also proven helpful in preventing tolerance to fentanyl after cardiac surgery as well as decreasing risks of PONV following cholecystectomy surgery.
Additionally, MDMA has the unique capability of activating areas of the brain associated with psychedelic experiences in healthy individuals. However, this should never be used recreationally and should only be administered by trained medical professionals.
Is Ketamine an Antidepressant?
Psychiatrists have increasingly turned to ketamine infusions for depression that have not responded to standard antidepressant treatments, chronic pain, and anxiety disorders like PTSD, fibromyalgia, and bipolar disorder. Scientists had long believed ketamine alleviates depression by blocking receptors called NMDA which interact with glutamate neurotransmitter receptors; however, a recent Stanford-led study indicates its antidepressant properties also stem from activating opioid receptors.
Researchers combined ketamine and naltrexone, an opioid receptor blocker, to disarm its antidepressant effects. Naltrexone completely nullified these benefits, thus suggesting that its interaction with the opioid system may also explain why ketamine helps alleviate pain and symptoms related to specific mental conditions.
Ketamine has long been used as a painkiller, particularly among those with neuropathies such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or phantom limb pain. Yet, new research from Stanford indicates it could pose addiction risks similar to opioids.
“It is concerning that this treatment is being sold as an antidepressant when, in reality, it more closely resembles opioid medication,” notes psychiatrist Alan Schatzberg who studies ketamine’s effects on depression and other mental illnesses. According to him, should doctors continue administering infusions without proper knowledge of their functioning, patients could take greater doses over time for the same effect.