Several research teams around the world have been trialing ketamine use in chronic and recurring depression

Thomson Reuters Posted: Apr 06, 2017 5:04 PM ET Last Updated: Apr 06, 2017 5:15 PM ET 

The party drug ketamine can have powerful beneficial effects on severely depressed patients who have struggled for years to recover, and the drug should be developed responsibly as a psychiatric medicine, British experts said on Thursday.

In a study published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, specialists from Oxford University said there is an urgent need for ethical and innovative action by doctors to prescribe the drug under controlled conditions.

“We think patients’ treatment should be in specialist centers and formally tracked in national or international registries,” said Rupert McShane, a consultant psychiatrist and researcher at Oxford who has led a series of ketamine studies.

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