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Ketamine, A Promising Depression Treatment, Seems To Act Like An Opioid

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A new study suggests that ketamine, an increasingly popular treatment for depression, has something in common with drugs like fentanyl and oxycodone.

The small study found evidence that ketamine's effectiveness with depression, demonstrated in many small studies over the past decade, comes from its interaction with the brain's opioid system. A Stanford University team reported their findings Wednesday in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

"We think ketamine is acting as an opioid," says Alan Schatzberg, one of the study's authors and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. "That's why you're getting these rapid effects."

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/08/29/642700616/ketamine-a-promising-depression-treatment-seems-to-act-like-an-opioid

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