Last Updated on December 18, 2023 by admin
Ketamine infusions have gained traction as a mental health treatment method across the United States. The use of a lower dose of this traditional anesthetic has shown promise in alleviating symptoms of depression, commonly administered via intravenous (IV) procedures in specialized clinics. However, the recent death of actor Matthew Perry shortly after receiving a ketamine infusion has stirred discussions about the regulation and safety of these treatments.
According to an autopsy report, Perry received a ketamine infusion days before his passing on Oct. 28. While the drug’s effects wouldn’t have lasted long due to its short half-life, the autopsy cited “acute effects of ketamine” as a contributing factor in his accidental death in a Los Angeles home pool. The levels found in his system were likened to those observed in general anesthesia. Additional factors included drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine, a medication for opioid use disorder. Perry, known for his public struggle with substance abuse, reportedly had been sober for 19 months before his demise.
The therapeutic use of ketamine involves a fraction of the dosage typically used in operating rooms. Patients remain awake or semi-conscious during IV sessions, supervised by an anesthesiologist and a team comprising psychiatrists, nurses, or social workers for patient screening.
Despite research showcasing mental health benefits, concerns persist regarding the risks for individuals with a history of substance use disorder. Dr. Peter Grinspoon from Massachusetts General Hospital highlighted the potential risks associated with ketamine for such individuals, emphasizing its historical use as a street drug.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of esketamine, a ketamine nasal spray for treating depression in specific cases, has highlighted the therapeutic potential of ketamine. However, the FDA has cautioned against the use of compounded ketamine, especially through telemedicine companies, citing risks for psychiatric disorders.
Clinics like Avesta Ketamine Wellness Center and Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles underscored their careful administration and monitoring of ketamine use. They emphasized the importance of responsible use and detailed supervision during treatments, intending to prevent misuse or self-dosing by patients.
Infusion clinics want people to know what they do
Amidst concerns following Perry’s death, clinic representatives stressed the disparity between therapeutic ketamine use and the unfortunate incident involving the actor. However, Ladan Eshkevari from Avesta emphasized the need for stringent monitoring to ensure responsible ketamine use, cautioning about the potential risks associated with acquiring the drug through online sources.
The tragic outcome of Perry’s case has reignited discussions about the regulatory landscape and safety measures surrounding the use of ketamine in mental health treatment, prompting a closer examination of the practices within these clinics.