Using ketamine for depression or recreation: What’s the difference?

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[G]iven ketamine’s long-standing reputation as a recreational drug—so notorious that users talk about entering a “K-hole” after taking it—you might have some questions about what exactly makes the FDA-approved version different.

[K]etamine’s dissociative effects, like those of PCP, could make it a potent party drug. The out-of-body experience caused by ketamine can feel euphoric, but when it doesn’t—when it’s a paralyzing, hallucinogenic, often frightening ordeal—that’s when recreational users talk about falling into a K-hole. This mostly happens when taking especially high doses.

The doses of ketamine people are getting to treat their depression, though, are much smaller.


In trials, patients have reported disorientation, high blood pressure, and vomiting; others taking ketamine for depression have also talked about feeling something like a euphoric trip.

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These side-effects, and the worry that sustained esketamine use could lead to dependence, have led the FDA to strictly regulate how Spravato will be used. The drug is only approved for patients with depression who haven’t responded to other antidepressants.


These limitations, experts hope, will make the medical use of esketamine a different and safer experience than recreational use of ketamine.

Read full, original post: How Is Taking Ketamine for Depression Different From Falling Into a K-Hole?

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