FDA approves ketamine-like nasal spray for depression

The quick-acting drug could usher in a new era of treatment for depression.

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  • The drug is closely related to the anesthetic ketamine, and it's likely to be covered by many insurance plans.
  • It's to be used in addition with antidepressants, and only by patients who've tried two antidepressants and still don't feel better.
  • Intravenous ketamine treatments are already available in the U.S., but they're not approved by the FDA.
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What if you were immune to chronic pain? Vaccines could make it happen.

Scientists are developing vaccines for migraines and sciatica (back pain) – a win in the war against the overprescription of opioid drugs.

  • Alzheimer's disease and unintentional deaths (like opioid overdoses and suicides) have been driving down U.S. longevity statistics for three consecutive years – a trend not seen since the Spanish flu pandemic.
  • Our current approach to treating chronic pain is drug-based, but a vaccine-based approach can cut addiction out of the equation.
  • You can vaccinate against pain! Scientists are developing vaccines for migraines and sciatica, which will lower the need for opioids, be cheaper, and make drug non-compliance a non-issue.
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Microdoses of LSD change how you perceive time

A study on the effects of LSD microdosing shows some fittingly strange results.

Stephen Pond/Getty Images
  • A new study offers some of the first evidence that microdosing – taking tiny, regular doses of LSD – does have measurable effects.
  • Subjects taking LSD were less accurate when estimating how long an image appeared on a screen than subjects who were sober.
  • The mechanism that causes this effect remains unknown, but several ideas have been put forward.
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MDMA shown to increase empathy over other substances

It's all about the serotonin.

German actor Jonas Dassler (L) and German director and screenwriter Fatih Akin embrace before leaving a press conference for the film 'The golden glove' (Der Goldene Handschuh) presented in competition at the 69th Berlinale film festival on February 9, 2019 in Berlin. - The Berlin film festival will be running from February 7 to 17, 2019. Nearly 400 movies from around the world will be presented, with 17 vying for the prestigious Golden Bear top prize. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • In a new study, MDMA is shown to produce better cognitive and emotional empathy than users of cocaine, ketamine, and alcohol.
  • This follows in the wake of criticism that MDMA use leads to social distress.
  • Illegal in America since 1985, MDMA is showing positive efficacy rates in clinical trials for treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
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The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
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