Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ketamine shows promise in helping people with alcohol addiction

Image for article titled Ketamine shows promise of helping people with alcohol addiction

Photo, Sasha Schurman / DDP / AFP ,Getty Images,

new research suggests that ketamine may help people struggling with alcohol addiction. The small randomized, controlled trial found that people with severe alcohol use disorder infused ketamine reported more days of abstinence at six-month follow-up than those in the control group. The benefits also appeared to be greater for those given ketamine in addition to psychotherapy.

Ketamine has long been used as a sedative for both people and animals, and is sometimes took As a recreational drug with hallucinogenic effects. In In recent years, it has been taken as another identity depression treatment, Since 2019, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a modified version of ketamine, available as a nasal spray, for treatment-resistant depression and in combination with an oral antidepressant for severe depression. Coupled with suicidal thoughts.

Some scientists hope that ketamine may also help people with alcohol use disorder, based on preliminary study, But this new research, published The American Journal of Psychiatry reported Tuesday the first clinical trial of its kind.

the researchers The University of Exeter in the United Kingdom recruited 96 people with severe alcohol use disorder. The volunteers were divided into four groups, two group rReceiving psychological therapy and attending two alcohol education sessions. Within these pairs, one group would receive three weekly infusions of ketamine and the other a placebo saline solution. At three months and six months after the first infusion, volunteers would self-report their days spent abstaining from alcohol and if they had relapsed, defined as one or more days of heavy drinking Was.

There was no major difference in relapse rate between the ketamine and placebo groups. But those who received ketamine in either condition reported a higher percentage abstaining from alcohol at the three- and six-month marks. The largest difference was observed between the group that received ketamine and therapy and the group that received placebo and no therapy, with the prior reporting abstinence for 162 days out of 180 days. who took Ketamine also showed fewer symptoms of depression at three months and better liver function than the placebo groups. No serious adverse events were reported, although two volunteers withdrew from the ketamine arm of the trial because they could not tolerate the drug.

“Alcohol can destroy lives, and we urgently need new ways to help people cut back. We found that controlled, low doses of ketamine combined with psychological therapy helped people live longer than a placebo. abstinence from alcohol can help,” said lead author Celia Morgan. Statement from University. “This is extremely encouraging, as we typically see three out of every four people returning to heavy drinking within six months of quitting, so this result represents a great improvement.”

The findings are based on a small sample size, And the purpose of research is only to be a proof of concept. So it would take more evidence to determine whether Ketamine can be effective for Alcohol use disorder. Morgan and his team also believe that ketamine alone is unlikely to be an effective treatment for these individuals. IIn practice, it should be combined with medical or counseling aid and used only as an acronym—term assistance, But given the lack of other reliable effective alternatives, and rising growth Due to excessive or harmful alcohol use (perhaps partly due to the epidemic), researchers hope that ketamine may continue to show promise and eventually become part of the treatment toolbox.

“This was a phase II clinical trial, which means it is primarily conducted in people to test the safety and feasibility of the treatment. We now have an early indication that this treatment is effective. “We now need a larger trial to see if we can confirm these effects,” Morgan said.


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