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Ketamine and S-ketamine (esketamine), though promising candidates, are not currently approved treatments for depression.
In 2016, esketamine received “breakthrough therapy” designation from the US FDA for major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation and may be approved as early as 2019 for medicinal use. Both substances are NMDA receptor antagonists, which induce dissociative anesthesia. .
However, concerns remain regarding its long term safety in light of its neurocognitive and urologic toxicity and potential for developing substance use disorders.