Mail-order ketamine injections can be ‘extremely dangerous,’ Dr. Siegel warns

Mail-Order Ketamine Injections Can Be ‘Extremely Dangerous,' Dr. Siegel Warns

Mail-order ketamine injections can be ‘extremely dangerous,’ Dr. Siegel warns

Dr. Siegel warns of the extreme dangers of mail-order ketamine injections

By on 2024-07-01 18:34:28

Mail-Order Ketamine Injections Can Be ‘Extremely Dangerous,' Dr. Siegel Warns

Ketamine has become increasingly popular for treating mental health disorders.

But some doctors and clinics have taken it to the next level by delivering the injectable doses to patients — who can then administer the drug unsupervised.

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel, who is also a clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, spoke on “Fox & Friends” on Monday about the dangers of handing out ketamine.

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Ketamine was initially approved for use as an anesthetic in the U.S. in the 1970s, Siegel said.

It was only indicated for treating depression within the last decade.

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Ketamine was initially approved for use as an anesthetic in the U.S. in the 1970s and was only indicated for treating depression within the last decade. (iStock)

“It works for really severe depression by altering brain chemicals, but under the observation of a highly trained psychiatrist or anesthesiologist,” he said.

“The idea that it is now available with a little tele-visit, and then they mail it to you with a self-monitoring blood pressure kit, is extremely dangerous.” 

“It can make you really, really sick — and without observation, you could end up in the hospital.”

The physician warned that ketamine can “knock you out, give you hallucinations, raise your blood pressure [or] lower your blood pressure.”

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“[It can] make you really, really sick — and without observation, you could end up in the hospital,” he said.

In terms of “breaking a cycle of severe depression,” Siegel that ketamine is effective, “but not this way.”

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Dr. Marc Siegel appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, July 1, 2024, to discuss the risks of mail-order ketamine doses. (Fox News)

Earlier this year, the University of Michigan released a study on the effects of ketamine in cases of severe or treatment-resistant depression among veterans.

Nearly half of all patients saw a “meaningful drop” in depression scores after six weeks of infusions, according to the analysis by the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor System (VAAAHS).

About 25% of those in the study saw their depression score drop by half within six weeks of treatment, while 15% went into full remission.

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In response to the study, Dr. Justin Gerstner, psychiatrist and chief medical officer at Ellie Mental Health in Minnesota, told Fox News Digital that ketamine therapy has been “quite transformative for a lot of our clients.”

While patients get the benefit of not having to take medication every day, Gerstner noted that there isn't much regulation surrounding how ketamine treatments are administered.

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Although ketamine has shown to be effective against severe depression, doctors do not recommend that patients use it without medical supervision. (Getty Images)

“The field is wide open, and it's a little bit like the Wild West,” he said. 

“This is a really powerful medication, and the way it's used can vary quite drastically.”

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) describes ketamine as a “dissociative drug,” which means it causes people to feel “separated or detached” from their bodies or surroundings.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.

While it is also used illegally as a recreational drug, experts say ketamine is generally not dangerous when used as prescribed.

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Fox News Digital's Melissa Rudy contributed to this report.

Read more at www.foxnews.com

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