Mailbag! Docs Using Horse Drugs for Depression?!?

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Depression can strike anytime.

And when severe enough it can require medication.

It’s no surprise that some depression drugs can cause all kinds of side effects, but they’re nothing compared to what’s coming down the pike for depression treatment.

You see, a drug with a history of recreational use and addiction issues is now positioned to be the next big depression breakthrough.

Let’s dive in…

Hi Natalie,

I know depression isn’t easy to treat.  But I couldn’t help but be surprised when a friend  (who suffers from severe depression)  recently told me her doctor thinks ketamine would help treat her depression.

This sounds like a bad idea to me. Isn’t ketamine the drug kids are getting high on? Has it ever been used to treat depression?


Sandy C.

Yes, Sandy, you’re right. Ketamine is a popular party drug and is often taken recreationally.

And because it can knock you out cold, it’s even been used in crimes like date rape, kidnapping and robbery.

But it didn’t start out this way.

Ketamine was first used as an anesthetic for large animals. And with good reason — it can drop a half-ton horse to the ground in just a matter of seconds.

It’s now used in humans to help start and maintain anesthesia because it can induce trance-like states. Unfortunately, these trance-like states also come with memory loss, hallucinations and even heart, bowel and psychological problems with long-term use.

But even with these dangerous side effects, some docs are using it as an “off-label” treatment for depression.

You see, after a few positive trials, some physicians have been giving ketamine infusions to treat depression — especially in hard-to-treat cases.

And for some folks it’s worked.

But these results can wear off in as little as a week, so regular infusions are needed to keep depression symptoms in check.

Even worse, there’s yet to be a large-scale trial that can determine whether ketamine is safe and effective for treating depression without any serious side effects.

I don’t know about you, but I would need a lot of good evidence before taking a drug that can put down a horse and cause serious hallucinations.

Not to mention ketamine has addictive properties. This is bad news for everyone but can be especially dangerous for folks already suffering from depression.

Depression is a serious illness and should be treated like one.

But until there’s more proof ketamine is a viable option for depression, there are other ways to fight it.

One good way is with your diet.

Many studies show diet can play a major role in mental health. And a good way to get a grip on your mood is through food.

A good place to start is by reading Food and Mood: Eating Your Way out of Depression. Click here to find out more about it.

Do you have health questions you want answered? Drop me a line:

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

Ed. Note: Please send your feedback: – and click here to like us on Facebook.


[1] Ketamine

[2] Ketamine depression treatment ‘should be rolled out’

[3] Ketamine For Severe Depression: ‘How Do You Not Offer This Drug To People?’

[4] Ketamine for Depression: Key Efficacy, Safety Questions Remain

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

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