Depression Treatments: What’s Next?

Mental health is a complex subject with a maze of symptoms connecting many of them to each other.

Because of this, there are not many reliable treatment solutions which cover a wide scope of symptoms, nor are there a wide variety of treatment options available. As a result, medical practitioners and researchers alike have spent the last few decades searching for useful alternative applications of existing medications to treat serious conditions like depression and addiction—which plague so many.

In one such study, a medical researcher at Johns Hopkins found the psychedelic drug psilocybin especially effective at relieving the symptoms of depression and aiding in smoking cessation, among other mental health conditions. In a number of similar small studies–which consisted of 15 long-term smokers–8 out of 10 patients were able to quit after just six months of taking small doses of the non-addictive psilocybin. When larger “heroic doses” of psilocybin were used on 350 volunteers struggling with an addiction, anxiety and depression, many were also able to overcome their struggles. Discoveries like these at Johns Hopkins are fantastic examples of safe and effective alternative applications of existing drugs. It is also very likely that there are still many other uncovered alternative treatments like this waiting to be found.

Historically, there has always been some off-label prescribing by doctors who are in-the-know. For example, some popular drugs that are commonly prescribed for things outside of their original intent are:

Prazosin: Originally prescribed for hypertension. It is also prescribed off-label for managing nightmares related to PTSD, treating Raynaud’s diseases, and as an antidote to scorpion poisoning.

Memantine: Due to the evidence of glutamate’s involvement in obsessive-compulsive-disorder (OCD), a drug like Memantine, which modulates glutamate release, has shown to be effective at reducing symptoms.

Clonidine: Although commonly prescribed for hypertension, clonidine has a number of off-label uses including ADHD, nicotine dependence, opioid withdrawal, migraine headaches, and restless leg syndrome.

Ketamine: Although originally prescribed in much larger doses as a generic anesthetic, low dose applications have proven to be a safe and effective non-addictive treatment for relieving the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even chronic pain.

Alternative applications like the ones mentioned above provide new hope for those who have not found relief previously. As a patient, it’s important to understand all of the options available which may mean digging in a little deeper. By understanding how a drug may interact with our body, we may find other alternative applications of existing drugs. As a patient, this proactivity maximizes our chances of receiving the most effective treatments sooner, and ensures that fewer serious illnesses will linger on and remain untreated.

Contact Renew Ketamine & Wellness Center

Request a free consultation at our Chicagoland ketamine clinic and wellness center and find out if you or a loved one is a good candidate for ketamine infusions. Ketamine is highly effective for the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, chronic pain conditions, and more. Our clinic can help answer questions, and reset your mind and body.