On Tuesday, November 29, the FDA gave us an early holiday gift when it approved Phase 3 trials for MDMA assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD. MDMA is better known to most people as Ecstasy or Molly a hallucinogenic drug abused for “recreational purposes”. This was a result of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) oversight of earlier Phase 1 & 2 successful studies here and abroad.
Why is this important? This would be the first “hallucinogenic” drug approved for treatment. Research into psychedelics in the 1950’s and 1960’s proved to have much promise, but politics got in the way, and it was classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it had no value or potential medical benefit. I will refrain from giving my opinion on politics and scientific research.
While the actions of MDMA and ketamine may be somewhat different in the brain, they both involve increasing the presence or release of certain chemicals (ie: glutamate). This commonality will hopefully encourage the FDA to look at the extensive Ketamine research, and consider approval for the drug to treat depression and trauma. (Ketamine is already an FDA approved drug, but not for depression and trauma).
What will FDA approval mean for Ketamine treatments? One thing will be the ability to have insurance cover treatments. While not all clinics will accept insurance, individuals may have the ability to get reimbursed for some treatment costs.
The recognition of treatment potential for these types of drugs will help increase awareness and stimulate research and development of other drugs to provide better relief to sufferers and their friends and family.
One strategy in medicine is to help people stay alive while science works to find better cures and treatments. This development brings hope to many who struggle with depression, anxiety and PTSD. But you don’t have to wait. Call us now, and find out how Ketamine can help with depression and anxiety disorders, including OCD, PTSD and serious chronic pain. There will be other options in the future. Ketamine Wellness Centers can help you now. Call 855-KET-WELL or visit our website at ketaminewellnesscenters.com.
Dr. Ellen Diamond is a Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers, Inc.