Why ketamine is so effective at preventing suicide

Ketamine rapidly improves cognitive function, making those in suicidal crisis less likely to harm themselves

Researchers have known for years that ketamine can reduce depression symptoms and suicidal ideation in as little as 24 hours, but a recent study helps us understand why it’s so beneficial.

The study showed that a single dose of ketamine rapidly improved cognitive function, problem-solving abilities, and distorted thinking in suicidal patients.

“Being able to think more clearly can make someone feel less suicidal,” explains Ravi. N. Shah, MD, one of the researchers.

Ketamine was more effective than Midazolam, a benzodiazepine used as a sedative for surgeries. After the dose, suicidal ideation was diminished for up to 6 weeks.