Ketamine could be first of new generation of rapid acting antidepressants, say expertsBMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4714 (Published 16 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4714
- Ingrid Torjesen
Ketamine is the first truly new pharmacological approach to treating depression in the past 50 years and could herald a new generation of rapid acting antidepressants, researchers have predicted.
“We haven’t had anything really new for about 50 or 60 years,” said Allan Young, professor of mood disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College, London, at a briefing on 12 July at London’s Science Media Centre.
Most of the new launches have been “tinkering with drugs which were really discovered in the ’50s and ’60s,” he explained. “Even the famous Prozac, which came in in the late ’80s, is really just a refinement of the tricyclic antidepressants that came in the ’50s. People say we are still in the age of steam, and we need to go to the next technological advance.”
In the past few years the focus has fallen on ketamine, …