Clinics Are Showing Deceptive Ketamine Advertisements Online

New research published in JAMA Network Open suggests that numerous clinics may be giving off-label and unauthorized ketamine to treat a range of physical and mental health issues through deceptive claims online.

Although the FDA does not license intravenous ketamine to treat any mental health conditions, it is occasionally used off-label for some symptoms, including depression and anxiety.

Ketamine is typically used as an anesthetic by medical professionals. Being a dissociative drug, ketamine causes separation from reality and produces a visual and aural distortion by acting on various substances in the brain.

With the power it holds, it is crucial to always use ketamine under the direction of medical professionals.

These are expensive treatments for which patients generally must pay out of pocket and the evidence base is often not robust for many of the advertised uses.

- Michael DiStefano, co-author and Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado.

DiStefano said it's critical to give patients weighing these treatments a factual and fair explanation of the potential dangers and advantages.

Using six national ketamine databases, the research team located online direct-to-consumer ketamine advertising with a website and at least one facility in Maryland.

False online advertisements regarding ketamine

They discovered that 17 advertisements, spread across 26 sites in Maryland, were promoting ketamine aided therapy or infusions for a variety of ailments, such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Several false statements about safety and treatment were made in the advertisement.

DiStefano stated that although the study was limited to clinics in Maryland, their collection of the six directories for ketamine treatment indicates that there are roughly 800 such clinics nationwide.

Additionally, he mentioned that a number of businesses offer to mail customers oral ketamine.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Johns Hopkins University research team says the use of psychedelic or hallucinogenic drugs as therapies for mental illness is growing.

For instance, Colorado is leading the way in creating regulations governing psilocybin use for depression.

DiStefani concludes that it's critical to convey the possible hazards and advantages of these treatments in an accurate and transparent manner.

Although some patients will benefit from these treatments and shed some light, using ketamine has some serious hazards to your health.

Short term adverse effects are:

  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Changes in senses
  • Feeling detached from yourself and your surroundings

Long term impacts can include withdrawal, sleepiness, and depression.

Aside from the potential side effects and dangers, high financial expenses must also be taken into account when considering ketamine.

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