Ketamine: An Anti-Depressant?
The UN has struggled with ketamine for years, having previously reviewed its status in 2006, 2012, and 2014. In 2015, a UN agency decided to postpone a proposal to place ketamine in Schedule IV.
Ketamine is currently not scheduled under international controls.
As the UN reconsiders ketamine one more time, the drug’s usefulness as an anti-depressant is receiving major mainstream coverage. Last week Time magazine ran a cover story on ketamine that heralded its potential as a breakthrough drug:
“The biggest development has been the rediscovery of a promising, yet fraught, drug called ketamine. It’s best known as a psychedelic club drug that makes people hallucinate, but it may also have the ability to ease depression—and fast. In a race to shape the next generation of anti-depressants, Johnson & Johnson and Allergan are fast-tracking new medicines inspired by ketamine.”
The FDA will prepare an evaluation of the drugs under consideration for the United Nations, but federal officials will not make any recommendations to the UN regarding whether the drugs should be subject to international controls.
For further information, contact James Hunter at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Controlled Substance Staff in Maryland. He’s at 301-796-3156, and can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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