What to know about ketamine therapy after Matthew Perry's cause of death announced

Exploring Ketamine Therapy Following Revelation of Matthew Perry's Cause of Death 

What to know about ketamine therapy after Matthew Perry's cause of death announced

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An autopsy report identifies acute ketamine effects as the primary cause of Matthew Perry's demise.

An autopsy report released by the Los Angeles County coroner on Friday has pinpointed the acute effects of ketamine as the determining factor in the tragic death of "Friends" star Matthew Perry.

As per the report, Perry was reportedly undergoing ketamine infusion therapy and had received a ketamine infusion approximately one-and-a-half weeks before his untimely passing. Nevertheless, the medical examiner concluded that the ketamine detected in his system could not have originated from that specific infusion, given that ketamine typically has a half-life of three to four hours or less.

The report also cited drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine as contributing factors unrelated to the immediate cause of Perry's death, which was officially ruled as an accident.

Buprenorphine is a medication utilized for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Now, let's delve into what ketamine is and its applications in medical treatment.

Understanding Ketamine:
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic employed for inducing anesthesia in medical settings. In recent years, it has also gained recognition as a potential treatment for treatment-resistant depression, as per information from StatPearls, an online library published in the National Library of Medicine.

According to the American Addiction Centers, ketamine possesses a "potential for recreational misuse."

Ketamine Therapy:
Approved as a rapid-acting anesthetic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1970s, ketamine, as per the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), has seen off-label usage in the treatment of psychological disorders like depression and PTSD.

Dr. John Crystal, co-director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, highlighted the accelerated impact of ketamine, stating, "The average antidepressant takes about two months to produce a reduction in symptoms, while ketamine produces those same kinds of improvements within 24 hours in many people."

In 2021, ketamine therapy gained attention when former NBA player Lamar Odom revealed on "Good Morning America" his utilization of this treatment to combat addiction. Odom emphasized its timely intervention, stating, "I went to rehab and did some other things, but ketamine came into my life at the right time," during an interview with ABC News' Steve Osunsami.

Dr. Crystal emphasized, "I think of ketamine as an intervention that is part of an overall treatment. Ketamine can be something that can facilitate and enhance the impact of psychotherapy."

Potential Risks of Ketamine Therapy:
According to the American Addiction Centers, "Death by ketamine overdose rarely occurs if ketamine is the only drug someone takes."

The lethal dose of ketamine is estimated to be around 5.6 milligrams per pound for a 154-pound individual, as per the StatPearls journal in the National Library of Medicine.

Apart from the risk of death, Dr. John Crystal cautioned in November that ketamine therapy should be avoided by individuals with schizophrenia or those in the early stages of developing a psychiatric illness.